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A Guide to Winning Broadway Ticket Lotteries!

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This could just be your lucky day!

Whether you're a rabid theatre fan, a casual lover of the arts, or just an ordinary tourist who appreciates great entertainment, no trip to New York City is complete without an experience at a Broadway show. You might have already booked tickets months in advance (good for you!), but if you haven't, there's still hope!

If you're looking for last minute tickets to a Broadway show, most productions offer some form of ticket lottery, either in person or online. That's right- by simply entering your name, you could win discounted tickets to many of Broadway's hottest shows. Feeling lucky? Let's first go over some key points to help you score the tickets you want.

A Guide to Winning Broadway Ticket Lotteries!


What's the Difference Between Lottery and Rush Tickets?

It is first important to distinguish the difference between a ticket lottery and a ticket rush. Winners of Broadway lotteries are randomly selected from a pool of submissions, collected either digitally or in person. Rush tickets are often distributed from the time a theatre's box office opens, to the start of a performance. Rush tickets are limited and based on availability, so buyers at the front of the line, who often arrive long before opening hours, have greater odds of making a purchase.

Rules vary from show to show and not every show has either/both.

When to Enter Broadway Ticket Lotteries

Perhaps the biggest downside of participating in Broadway lotteries is that they can make your sight-seeing day in NYC difficult to plan around. That's because most lotteries won't accept entries until the day before or day of the performance, and you might not know if you've won (or not) until several hours prior to the performance.

If you're a planner, Broadway ticket lotteries might not be for you- and that's OK! There are plenty of other ticket buying options out there.


A key term in the rules of almost every ticket lottery is: "subject to availability." Every lottery will select a limited number of winners, and some shows won't select any winners at all for certain performances.

It's also important to keep in mind that some Broadway shows are a lot more popular than others. Lotteries for those shows will receive many more entries, and will likely be more difficult to win.

Claiming Your Tickets

A common misconception about Broadway lotteries is that winners will receive tickets for free. Actually, you will indeed have to pay for your winning ticket (with either cash or credit), but it will be seriously discounted- most are $25-$50 each. When you pick up your tickets, be sure to bring a valid photo ID.

Most lotteries will allow you to chose between receiving one or two tickets. If you win, you will not be allowed to trade your tickets for a different time/day.

Also, don't expect to have a say in where you are seated. Lottery ticket locations can vary from front row, to balcony, to partial view.

Enter a Broadway Lottery Today!

What are you waiting for? Read up on rules for each Broadway show and enter a Broadway lottery today!

Want to learn even more about Broadway? We've got info on all 41 Broadway theatres, the longest-running shows of all time, which shows are best for high schools, plus tips on when to buy tickets to a Broadway show, how to get there, what to wear, where to eat, and how to know if it's age appropriate!

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