Odds of winning a Broadway ticket lottery and how to maximize the chances of winning


Many Broadway productions offer a ticket lottery service. It is a way for people to enter for the chance to purchase affordably priced tickets to see a Broadway show. All Broadway ticket lotteries are free to enter. If someone wins the ticket lottery, they will be given the chance to purchase a ticket for the show, which is usually on the same day or a couple of days in advance. The winning lottery tickets costs between $10 and $50.

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How To Enter a Broadway Ticket Lottery

While in-person ticket lotteries used to be more common, nearly all productions have switched to using online ticket lotteries. The online lotteries are more accessible and can reach a greater amount of people when compared to the in-person lottery process. Additionally, in-person lotteries have become less popular due to potential issues like excessive crowding. In 2016, Hamilton used to hold an in-person lottery, which had anywhere from 1,500 to 3,000 people and overcrowded the sidewalk bringing traffic to a halt every day. Wicked is one Broadway show that continued to hold a daily in-person ticket lottery for 26 orchestra tickets, long after all the other Broadway shows had given up. Entering an in-person lottery greatly increases the chances of winning, since most people are not able or willing to show up at the theatre to enter, especially during the colder months. Most shows prefer online ticket lotteries which can be entered on a desktop computer or mobile device. Some of these online lotteries require you to login to a social media account, which has upset some fans who view this as an invasion of privacy.

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What Are The Odds Of Winning A Broadway Lottery?

The odds of winning a Broadway lottery ticket depends on how many people enter the lottery and how many tickets the show makes available. Some shows have a set amount of tickets available, like Hamilton, which offer 46 lottery tickets every day. In 2016, there were approximately 10,000 people entering the Hamilton lottery every day. If there are 46 tickets available, and 10,000 people enter the lottery, the odds of winning are 1 in 435, assuming that everyone selects two tickets. If everyone selects only one ticket, the odds of winning are 1 in 217.

Others base their lottery ticket inventory on what tickets they still have available. While it is impossible to know exactly how many tickets are offered on any given day, the average is about 20 tickets per show. If 1,000 people enter a lottery, and everyone selects two tickets, the odds of winning are, 1 in 100.

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How To Maximize Your Chances Of Winning

If someone plans to see a show with another friend, the best way to maximize the odds of winning is to both enter the lottery for two tickets. This gives them two entries into the lottery, doubling the chances of winning. They should not enter the lottery as two people requesting single tickets. While the odds for winning a single ticket are better than winning two tickets, the chances of both people winning the lottery is much lower.

If someone plans to see a show alone, the best way to win is to enter the lottery for only one ticket. While lottery entries are not drawn based on how many tickets are requested (one or two), the chances are still better if you enter for one ticket only. For example, the Hamilton lottery has a set amount of 46 tickets for each show, if a lottery winner requesting one ticket is pulled, the total amount of tickets left becomes 45. This guarantees that another person requesting a single ticket must win, since the amount of tickets left is now odd. Additionally, when the lottery is trying to find another single ticket winner, the pool of potential winners is much smaller, since most people request two tickets, giving single ticket entrants a much higher chance of winning.