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The Fresno ‘Hamilton’ lottery kicks off today (March 18). Here’s what you need to know.

As it does in other cities, the touring musical “Hamilton” — which opens in Fresno in just two weeks! — runs a lottery system that evens the playing field a bit for those who couldn’t afford pricey seats months in advance. The official lottery system opened Friday morning (March 18) at 10 a.m. Here’s what you need to know from Broadway in Fresno:

Which performances have lottery tickets available?

All of them. The show opens Wednesday, March 30, and continues through Sunday, April 10, at the Saroyan Theatre in downtown Fresno.

How much are the lottery tickets?

$10. If you nab one, it’s the deal of the 18th century, and of the 21st, as well. (Regular prices are $70-199 through the official site, and up to $400 from third-party resalers.)

How many lottery tickets are available for each performance?

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Forty for each show, according to the press release.

Do I have to go down to the theater before each performance and stand in line for a number, then hope I get selected? Or, hey, how about a duel? I’d be willing to do that to get a ticket.

Nope. In-person lotteries are a thing of the past. And duels are so pre-antibiotics. This is all done by app or website, baby, and you’d better make sure you have the process down.

OK, how does the lottery work?

So, there are steps to follow here, and as I like to tell my Fresno State students, it’s important you read all the directions. Step-by-step, here they are:

· Use the official app for “Hamilton,” now available for all iOS and Android devices in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

· The lottery will open at 10 a.m. every Friday and will close for entry at 12 p.m. the next Thursday prior to the following week’s performances.

· Winner and non-winner notifications will be sent between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. every Thursday for the upcoming week’s performances via email and mobile push notification. Winners will have two hours to claim and pay for their ticket(s).

· No purchase or payment necessary to enter or participate.

· Each winning entrant may purchase up to two (2) tickets.

· Only one entry per person. Repeat entries and disposable email addresses will be discarded.

· Lottery tickets may be picked up at Will Call beginning 2 hours prior to the performance with a valid photo ID.

· Lottery tickets void if resold.

To recap: There will be a separate lottery drawing each week of the run. You have between 10 a.m. Friday and noon the following Thursday to enter each week. It doesn’t matter when you enter during that time period, and you can’t enter more than once. (I don’t know how the lottery folks know how to tell if you’re using a disposable email address, which is against the rules, but my advice is this: Through several years of “Hamilton” mania, in which residents of major metropolitan areas probably tried every trick and shortcut in the book to flood the lottery with entries, the powers-that-be have likely developed a way to keep you from cheating. I wouldn’t try.) Perhaps the most important thing: You have to check your email (or text messages, if you enable that option) between 1 and 4 p.m. Thursday to find out if you’ve won. I can’t tell you how many times in ticket giveaways for The Munro Review people missed out because they didn’t check their email.

I absolutely can’t attend a Thursday matinee because of work. Can I select which performances I want to enter the lottery for?

Yes. After you’ve gone through the process of signing up and creating an account, you’ll get a screen on the desktop version that looks like this:

As you can see, you’ll be able to select all performances — or specific dates and times.

Anything else to know?

In the rules, you’ll note this stipulation: “While every effort will be made to seat winning tickets together, there is a chance that winner’s seats may be split up.” So be flexible.

Good luck!


The Munro Review has no paywall but is financially supported by readers who believe in its non-profit mission of bringing professional arts journalism to the central San Joaquin Valley. You can help by signing up for a monthly recurring paid membership or make a one-time donation of as little as $3. All memberships and donations are tax-deductible.


Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

donaldfresnoarts@gmail.com

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