How to Guide: Broadway Lotteries

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

I probably should stop saying "I recently moved to New York," but I still feel like I only just moved recently since there's still so much to discover here. One of my favorite activities has been attending Broadway shows through their lottery system, which gives really good tickets for a whole lot cheaper than what you'd otherwise pay at the box office.

I learned about Broadway lotteries from a friend who has watched a ton (shoutout to Justin Kong for teaching me his ways) and now I'm going to pass down the tips even if it means increased competition.

You can find lotteries here on Broadway Direct or check this Playbill list or this Broadway for Broke People list. I mostly enter digital lotteries, but Playbill also lists in-person lotteries which may be easier to get if you have the time.

Be sure to enter them whenever you can. I like to enter on the weekends where I can guarantee that I'll be free (versus on the weekdays where I may be working later so it'd be sad to win and then not be able to go). I'd say your chances of winning a weekday show are probably more likely than the weekend showings. You can enter different lotteries basically every day, but just make sure you know what time they open and what time they close. You're only given one hour after they email or text you that you've won to buy the tickets. (Yes, I have won Broadway tickets before but was still sleeping from 9am-10am and then woke up and realized I lost the chance to buy the tickets).

I always put myself down for 2 tickets even if I don't have someone else to go with because I know I can definitely find someone else to go with and I personally think it's more fun to go with a friend! If you're ever in NYC looking for a person to go with, hit me up!

Best of luck,

LC chiming in here! My "hack" for first-come-first-served digital rush tickets like TodayTix (which I used a lot in San Francisco and London) is to have pulled up on your desktop so you can see the current time down to the second. For lotteries that open at 9AM, I have a pretty good success rate if I tap "enter lottery" at around 8:59:58. Don't forget to have your credit card ready, since you'll need to purchase the tickets within the next ten minutes. I always have amazing seats through TodayTix -- as good as second row orchestra.

For off-Broadway or smaller shows, you can also join membership groups like Roundabout Theatre's Hip Tix program for $25 tickets to Pulitzer Prize-winning plays and musicals. I've seen a few of their shows in the past, and since they're smaller/not-for-profit, they take more interesting creative liberties with their work!

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