1.2 Million Register, Only 17,500 Can Go

Thursday, Jan 7, 2010  |  Updated 2:54 PM PDT
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Life and Times: Michael Jackson

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An estimated 1.6 million fans register for a lottery that will determine who gets to attend Tuesday's event at Staples Center.

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More than 1.2 million people registered online to get one of the 11,000 free tickets for Michael Jackson's Tuesday memorial celebration at the Staples Center or the 6,500 tickets for the next-door Nokia Theatre, where the event will be simulcast on big screens, according to a spokesperson for the Jackson family.

A random drawing will be held among the 1,223,978 registered individuals -- the most recent registration figure released by the Jackson family's representatives, Sunshine, Sachs & Associates -- for the 17,500 free tickets. The cut-off for registration was 6 p.m. Saturday.

According to The Los Angeles Times, so many people tried to register for the ducats that the Staples Center Web site's server crashed for a time.

Meanwhile, a coalition of youth and civil rights groups here in L.A. have scheduled a news conference today at noon outside the Staples Center to call upon the ticket winners to donate to the list of needy organizations and social causes that Michael Jackson supported during his career.

"Jackson Memorial ticket holders can show their appreciation of Jackson's monumental humanitarian work by donating to the specific causes that Jackson held near and dear," said Earl Ofari Hutchinson, a member of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable and one of the organizers of today's news conference.

"This will be the best and most fitting way to celebrate and pay homage to the humanitarian spirit of giving and help that Jackson dedicated his life to," Hutchinson said.

Dealings continue between city officials, AEG, which operates the Staples Center, and the Jackson family over who will pay for the overtime involved in crowd control by police and emergency personnel.

As a way to dampen down the crowd numbers, city officials have said there would not be a funeral procession and no one would be allowed inside an area around the Staples Center on Tuesday, unless they had a ticket and a wristband, media credential or could prove they live or work in the affected area.

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