New Yorker Wins Tickets to MJ Memorial

Thousands flock to LA to remember King of Pop

He flew to Los Angeles on the off chance he would win one of the coveted tickets to today's Michael Jackson memorial. Then Donte Zierway just got really lucky.

The 33-year-old singer from Buffalo spent $700 to make the nearly 2,500-mile trip across the country on the hunch he'd win the lottery, and ended up being one of the fortunate few to pick up his ticket at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles yesterday, according to The New York Post. More than 1.5 million registered in the online ticket lotto.

"This is the best day of my life," Zierway told the Post. "My friends . . . thought I was crazy coming all this way without a ticket . . . [but] I believed for some reason I would be the lucky one. I was praying to my mom to help me."

The friend who let Zierway register for the lottery on her computer got her just reward. Zierway gave her his second ticket to what is sure to be a star-studded event in which Jackson's older brother, Jermaine, is rumored to be the closing performer.

Ticket scalpers have tried to cash in on MJ memorial tickets since the lottery winners were announced Sunday night, charging as much as $25,000 for a seat inside the Staples Center, but Zierway says he wouldn't trade his tickets for the world.

"If you gave me a million dollars, quite honestly, I wouldn't have sold [either]," he said.

Zierway plans to get all dolled up for the occasion. He spent $1,500 on a new outfit – a silk shirt, fancy new dress shoes and gold chains, according to the Post.

"I'm coming … looking like a gentleman," Zierway told the paper.

The Staples Center can hold 20,000 people; 11,000 tickets were given away in a lottery. Ken Sunshine, whom the Jackson family tapped as their spokesman, controls the other 9,000 tickets, which are to be doled out to family, friends, press and VIPs.

The 90-minute ceremony that may feature performances by Lionel Richie, Mariah Carey , Jennifer Hudson, Usher and Alicia Keys will draw legions of fans from across the country and be broadcast on five television networks. A-listers Stevie Wonder and Justin Timberlake may also perform.

Contact Us