Fans Beat Odds to Land Tickets
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 5, 2009 9:55 PM CDT
A shadow falls across a poster at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the planned location for Michael Jackson's memorial service scheduled for tomorrow.    (Matt Rourke)
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(Newser) – Michael Jackson fans began to celebrate tonight after beating the odds to win coveted tickets to Tuesday's memorial service at the Staples Center in LA. "I'm in shock that it has happened," said Deka Motanya, 27, of San Francisco. "It's surreal." More than 1.6 million fans registered online the random drawing of only 8,750 names—a 1-in-183 chance. Each person selected will receive two free tickets.

Motanya was notified at 4:35pm and immediately Twittered: "OMG OMG OMG OMG i got tickets to the michael jackson memorial service!!!" The Staples Center will hold 11,000 people, the overflow section another 6,500. The streets around the arena will be closed. "You'll be standing in the hot sun on a city street with a lot of other people," an LAPD rep warned the ticketless. The ceremony will not be shown on the Staples Center's giant outdoor TV screen, and there will be no funeral procession through the city.