If you’re one of the hundreds of fans who’ve endured the pouring rain, shiftless crowds and the potentially lethal traffic of Times Square for a chance to win lottery tickets to the show of the century – you’re gonna love this. The record-breaking Broadway musical, Hamilton, announced that it would be temporarily shifting it’s wildly popular lottery event to a digital format as of Jan. 5.
Citing dangerous overcrowding and inclement weather, the powers that be have decided to make some improvements to the potentially treacherous lottery event before reintroducing it in the spring.
“We love seeing so many fans show up to participate in the Ham4Ham lottery and show,” Hamilton producer, Jeffrey Seller, said in a statement. “But we need to figure out how to safely accommodate our fans without blocking traffic on West 46th Street.”
Shortly after it began its run at The Public Theater, Hamilton has offered the drawing to fans who can’t afford or even access the $150+ tickets to the currently sold out run. The stage phenomenon garners, at minimum, 500 entrants per drawing: excited fans who, line, crowd and essentially dominate the slim street accessing the Richard Rodgers Theater.
An innovation made popular in 1996 by the cult-classic Rent, lottery, student rush, general rush and “standing room only” has become the poor man’s guide to Broadway.
Hamilton is just one of many Broadway productions offering an affordable digital lottery for what has become quite an expensive medium. Kinky Boots made the switch this summer and after 18 years on top of the Broadway ticket want list, The Lion King announced in November that they would be offering an online lottery. Introduced just in time for the holiday season, the lottery would make tickets for the musical, which generally average around $130, accessible to theatergoers at a reasonable price.
UPDATE: As of 11 AM on Jan. 5, Hamilton has broken the internet! Since opening the digital lottery at 9:30 AM, BroadwayDirect, the website that hosts multiple Broadway show lotteries, has read a “Service Unavailable” message. Twitter is all abuzz, including Lin Manuel Miranda who has assured Hamilfans, while he excels at many things, IT is not one of them. Hopefully the site will be up soon…cause we’re trying to get tickets too!