Some lucky Michael Jackson fans got the e-mails they were hoping for Sunday, saying they’ve won two free tickets to Tuesday’s memorial service.
“OMG OMG OMG OMG i got tickets to the michael jackson memorial service!!!” Deka Motanya wrote Sunday afternoon in a Twitter message. The 8,750 fans chosen were summoned to Dodger Stadium Monday to pick up their tickets and have a wristband placed on their arms to prevent them from reselling them. The Michael Jackson memorial, set for 10 a.m. (1 p.m. ET) Tuesday in the Staples Center arena, is expected to be a star-studded and emotional tribute to the entertainer, who died June 25. Twitter.com served as a seismograph Sunday as fans anxiously watched their inboxes for an e-mail from AEG Live, the memorial organizer and Staples Center owner. More than five hours after the notifications were to be sent, none had been received. “Come on and let me know, Staples … did I win tickets to Michael Jackson’s memorial” read one tweet posted at 3 p.m., four hours after the e-mails were supposed to start flowing. One woman wrote she “is checking her e-mail anxiously to see if she got tickets to the Michael Jackson memorial at the Staples Center.” Just before 5 p.m. (8 p.m. ET), Twitter erupted with messages of excitement:
MICHAEL JACKSON The Memorial
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“I won the Michael Jackson tickets for Tuesday!!!! Heading to LA tmrw!!!!” read one tweet that linked to a photo of an iPhone screen with the e-mail. Watch reporters prepare for Tuesday’s service » “Apparently my dad’s friend who hates Michael Jackson, may have won tickets tu the memorial service… Step-mom’s freaking out..!” Other messages came from disappointed fans who did not get the e-mails: “I guess i didnt make the drawing to win tickets to Michael Jackson Memorial!!! go figure, I’m sadden and hurt :-(” The odds of winning the tickets were long — just one of every 182 were chosen. Organizers used a computer to choose 8,750 names from 1.6 million who registered online since Friday. Motanya, 27, works in a doctor’s office in San Francisco, California. She scrambled Sunday night to line up plane tickets so she and her boyfriend could fly to Los Angeles Monday to claim her tickets. “Oh yeah, I’m going,” she told CNN. “I’m e-mailing my boss saying I’ve got to leave early because I’m going to L.A.” Each winner gets two tickets, bringing the number awarded in the lottery to 17,500. Just 11,000 of those are for seats inside the Staples Center, while the other 6,500 are for viewing the memorial telecast across the street at the Nokia Theater.
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Winner must meet other requirements “in order to avoid the reselling of tickets,” according to a news release from the Jackson family. The notification gives them a secret code and instructions to appear at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday to claim their tickets. Along with their tickets, they will get the wristbands “one of which will be placed on their wrist at that time,” the family statement said. “Fans attending the memorial service must have both a valid ticket AND a wristband,” the Jackson family statement said. “Wristbands that have been ripped, taped or otherwise mutilated will be void.” The Jackson family set aside 9,000 Staples Center seats to give out to people they choose, according to organizers.
Some people were seen picking up those “friends and family” tickets at Dodger Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Two wristbands, one blue and one gold, were given out with each ticket. Ticketholders were instructed that they must wear the wristbands to validate their tickets. Police have said no one will be allowed near the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles without tickets or media credentials.