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Photograph: Joan Marcus

The Hamilton digital lottery is officially here to stay (except once a week)

Adam Feldman
Written by
Adam Feldman

The Broadway ultrasmash Hamilton is undeniably thrilling, but for many theater lovers, the drama onstage is equaled by the drama of trying to get tickets to see the damned thing. The musical is sold out for many months to come, and scalpers secondary-market vendors hawking last-minute tickets have jacked the prices up to legally insane levels. Happily, Hamilton still offers its enormously popular day-of-show lottery deal: $10 tickets for 21 lucky entrants at each performance. Even this, however, has been far from drama-free—and today, the lottery plot has taken another twist.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Hamilton on Broadway

As you may recall, the Hamilton lottery used to be conducted live outside the Richard Rodgers Theatre, giving rise to live “Ham4Ham” performances by cast members and guests that went viral and drew huge crowds. But the hamming got out of control, raising concerns about traffic disruption on 46th Street. Hamilton responded by making the lottery digital in January, but retreated to live drawings when the online version crashed from massive demand. When a new, improved digital lottery was unveiled in February, producers maintained that it was a temporary measure, and that the live drawing would return in the spring.

That, it turns out, is not to be. In a series of tweets this afternoon, Hamilton announced that the digital lottery is here to stay—with one exception. As a consolation for Ham4Ham fans, the lottery will go back to its live format once a week, on Wednesday matinees. (This is set to start tomorrow, April 6, but does not apply to the student matinee on April 13.)

The show's beloved auteur-star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, followed the news with a tweet emphasizing the return of Ham4Ham:

For the show, this makes sense. For would-be audiences, in practical terms, this means that our three-step guide to the Hamilton digital lottery now applies indefinitely (except on Wednesday afternoons, when entries are accepted at noon for a 12:30am drawing). The chance that you'll score tickets through the lottery remains tiny, but it’s still worth taking a shot; to help streamline the process, you can even now take advantage of a free Hamilton lottery app. And hey, people have overcome dauntingly long odds before. Ask Alexander Hamilton, if you see him.

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