LOS ANGELES – Fans celebrated Sunday after beating the odds to win coveted tickets to Michael Jackson’s memorial service at Staples Center.
More than 1.6 million fans registered online for free in the random drawing of only 8,750 names. Each person selected will receive two tickets to Tuesday’s memorial. The odds of getting a ticket were about 1 in 183.
“I’m in shock that it has happened,” said Deka Motanya, 27, of San Francisco. “It’s surreal.” She received an e-mail message at 4:35 p.m. notifying her, “Congratulations, your application was successful.”
The tickets will admit 11,000 people to the Staples Center plus 6,500 in the Nokia Theater overflow section next door. The streets around Staples Center will be closed to prevent those without tickets from trying to attend, police said Sunday.
Assistant Police Chief Jim McDonnell warned the ticketless to stay away: “You’ll be standing in the hot sun on a city street with a lot of other people … but not within eyeshot of Staples.”
The ceremony will not be shown on Staples’ giant outdoor TV screen and there will be no funeral procession through the city. No details were available about the actual memorial events.
Also Sunday, a judge signed search warrants connected to the investigation of Jackson’s death, Los Angeles County Superior Court spokesman Allan Parachini said. The warrants were sealed and Parachini would not discuss any details.