Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is not just one of the best Broadway shows of our time, with 11 Tony Awards to its name. It is a bona fide crossover cultural phenomenon. But since everyone wants to be in the room where it happens, cheap tickets are nearly impossible to score. Here’s how you can get them with just $10, a dream and a whole lot of patience.
THE TEN-DOLLAR FOUNDING FATHER
At each performance of Hamilton on Broadway, 46 seats in the first and second rows are distributed through a digital lottery. In Chicago, 44 seats are distributed that way. In both cases, those seats cost just $10.
I WAS POOR,
I KNEW IT WAS THE ONLY WAY TO RISE UP!
For many people, this digital lottery may be the only way to see Hamilton. The show’s average ticket price on Broadway is now $250; premium seats cost $849, and on the resale market the prices are far higher.
BUT YOU DON’T GET A WIN UNLESS YOU PLAY IN THE GAME
To enter the Hamilton lottery, go to the Broadway lottery page or the Chicago lottery page. Timing is key. For matinees, you must enter between 8am and 10am. For evening performances on days without matinees, you must enter between 8am and 1pm. For evening performances on days that also have matinees, i.e. Wednesdays and Saturdays, you must enter between 11am and 1pm. You can only enter once per performance. (Note that these deadlines are earlier than they were when the lottery debuted in 2016.)
GRAB A FRIEND, THAT’S YOUR SECOND
You can enter the lottery for either one or two seats. Always enter it for two. A friend you bring to Hamilton will be a friend for life.
I’M NOT THROWING AWAY MY SHOT
The lottery is held immediately after the window closes for entries. That means 10am for matinees and 1pm for evening performances. You will be sent an email about the results right away. If you win, take a moment to freak out, but then act fast! You get only one hour to confirm your purchase and pay for your tickets. If you don’t do it within the hour, you waste your shot.
SCHUYLER’S SEAT WAS UP FOR GRABS, SO I TOOK IT
Sorry, but no: Winning tickets are nontransferable. If you can’t use your tickets, no one else can.
WEAPON IN MY HAND, A COMMAND
Your smart phone can make the whole process even easier, thanks to the free Ham Lottery App, which streamlines the submission process by letting you autofill the personal details on your lottery entry. You will have to play a brief game each time, however, to prove that you not are a robot. (If you don’t like using apps, or have trouble seeing details on small screens, you can also take advantage of autofill if you use the Chrome browser.)
JUST YOU WAIT, JUST YOU WAIT…
We’re not going to sugarcoat this: Your odds of winning the Hamilton lottery are slender. The lottery’s FAQ estimates that it receives about 10,000 entries for each performance; since most people enter for pairs, that puts your odds at about 1 in 400. Get used to finding “Lottery Results: Try Again” emails in your inbox.
THERE’S HOPE FOR OUR ASS, AFTER ALL!
If at first you don’t succeed, try again and again and again and again. Although 1-in-400 odds aren’t great, statistics tell us that if you enter for every performance, eight times a week, then you have about an 88% chance of winning at some point in the next two years.
YOU COULD NEVER BE SATISFIED.
GOD, I HOPE YOU’RE SATISFIED