More than 700 theatergoers showed up to the Richard Rodgers Theatre yesterday afternoon, where Lin-Manuel Miranda’s critically acclaimed musical was having its first Broadway performance.
But these theatergoers didn’t have tickets to see “Hamilton” just yet. They were there to participate in the show’s now-daily “Hamilton for ‘Hamilton’” lottery, which gives winners the chance to buy up to two front row tickets for $10 each.
While only a handful of tickets were available for the lottery, which begins two and a half hours prior to each performance, a total of 704 participants entered, lining up as early as 4 p.m. and flooding 46th Street.
“The line was around the block at one point,” general manager Andy Jones told Playbill. Jones called the lucky winner’s names a few minutes after 6 p.m., when the lotto ended.
Winners were given wristbands and buttons to prevent ticket scalping.
Miranda stopped by the crowd, thanking everyone for coming. “We’re probably going to be here awhile, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t win today,” he said. “I love you very much.”
It’s not surprising that the “Hamilton” lotto brought such a large crowd. The musical has already made history, selling over 200,000 tickets in advance, bringing in $27.6 million. That makes it among the biggest pre-opening totals in history, according to The New York Times.
It also sold out every one of its 119 performances at the Public Theater earlier this year. That’s 34,132 people over 15 weeks.
Still, Jones told Playbill the “Hamilton” team didn’t expect as many people to show up for the lotto last night as eventually did, planning for only 300.
We have a feeling they’ll be planning for a lot more in the weeks to come.