Ticketing Guides

Introduction to Broadway Lotteries

Last updated March 26, 2024 by Broadway.com Staff
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Illustration: Jillian Goeler

Seeing a Broadway show can be a thrilling, lifetime memory experience. Although we advise you to purchase Broadway tickets in advance, to ensure your ticket and seats are waiting for you when visiting Broadway, you may want to consider entering a Broadway lottery to catch a hot show, or an additional show while visiting New York City. This guide will explain everything you need to know about navigating the Broadway lottery process.

Understanding Broadway Lotteries

A variety of Broadway productions run lotteries to sell a limited number of tickets per performance at discounted prices. This gives people the opportunity to see shows they might not be able to attend.

Broadway lotteries occur daily, typically 2-3 hours before showtime. You can either enter in-person at the theater's box office for most shows, or some productions also allow online lottery registration. For example, Lucky Seat offers broadway lottery tickets for shows like Moulin Rouge!Book of Mormon, and Hadestown.

At the designated lottery time, names are drawn at random from the pool of entrants. If selected, you can purchase up to 2 tickets. The number of winners varies by show but is generally under 30 tickets per lottery. 

What are the Lottery Rules?

Rules differ slightly between shows. Each production runs their lottery system a bit differently. Some allow multiple entries per person, while others restrict to just 1 entry. The number of tickets awarded through the lottery also varies by show.

We can't stress this enough, each lottery might have different rules, so make sure you know what they are. For example, some lotteries might require you to be physically present to win, while others might let you enter online. Also, check to see how often you're allowed to enter. Some lotteries might let you enter once per day, while others might only let you enter once per show. Carefully review lottery rules before entering since policies vary from show to show.

Tips for Entering Lotteries

  • If entering in-person, arrive at least 30 minutes before the lottery time. For online lotteries, submit your entry well before the deadline.

  • Have payment ready if you win since you must purchase tickets immediately.

  • Enter lotteries for multiple performances of the same show to increase your chances over time, if allowed.

  • Weekend evening performances are usually the most popular, so you might have a better chance of winning a lottery for a matinee or a weeknight performance.

  • If you enter a digital lottery, make sure you check your email often. If you win, you'll need to pay for your tickets within a certain timeframe or they'll be released to someone else.

  • Again, carefully review lottery rules on the show’s website before entering, policies vary.

Maximize Your Odds

Winning the lottery involves luck, but you can shift the odds in your favor. Persistently enter lotteries for multiple days and shows. For the most in-demand shows, the lottery may be your only chance at tickets. With dedication and flexibility, you can experience the magic of Broadway!

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