Odds of winning a ‘Hamilton’ ticket are bleak, but not as bad as you think

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Image: WireImage

Every day, we get online, look our computers in the screens, aim no higher, summon all the courage we require, then suffer the humiliation of losing our chance to see Hamilton on Broadway.

Despite our better logic, we’ll never be satisfied until our names are finally called for those coveted tickets. And while the odds of winning a Hamilton lottery ticket are rare, they’re not as bad as you think.

Let’s break it down

There are currently two ways to get Hamilton tickets, aside from shelling out hundreds of dollars for nosebleed seats: the live, #Ham4Ham lottery that happens at the theater and the online lottery that opens at 9 a.m. EST on Broadway Direct. 

Both ways offer $10 tickets (a Hamilton for a Hamilton), and while the live lottery is a unique experience that any theater lover should experience, those of us with demanding day jobs often opt for the online lottery.

Taking a look at the numbers at first glance, they definitely look bleak. But do not throw away your shot.

According to the Hamilton Lottery FAQ page, over 10,000 people enter the online lottery every single day.  But there is reason to hope, because the show gives out 21 tickets every day as well, significantly increasing your odds of winning.

There is one other x factor: each entry can be for either one or two tickets. We can’t necessarily know for sure how many tickets people are purchasing once they win, so we can assume it is anywhere between the two sums:

If 21 tickets are awarded to different, single entries (21 total), the odds of people winning are 476 to one.

If 21 tickets are awarded to 10 two-ticket and one single-ticket entries (11 total), the odds of people winning are 909 to one.

Here is a chart to see how these sums add up amongst other unlikely statistics you might run into in your lifetime, lovingly decorated with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s face to soothe your weary soul:

Image: bob al-greene, mashable

Analysis

Across social media, we joke, cry, complain and sometimes rage about the futility of winning a ticket, but when you look at the numbers, it could be a lot worse.

In plain terms: you should finish that best seller you’ve been working on. However, you can probably relax around vending machines.

If you’re really looking forward to being a game show contestant or writing a great American novel, you should be trying to do that just as much as you’re trying to win a chance to see Hamilton — and the odds, mathematically at least, say you’ll succeed as one of these things.

Or, if you ever hear someone say, “you’re more likely to be struck by lightning that winning a ticket to Hamilton,” you now have clear evidence that that is decidedly not true.

It’s important to keep in mind that just because the odds are stacked against you doesn’t mean you can’t be victorious. People write best sellers, date millionaires, win Oscars and have vending machines fall on them every day.

Even Alexander Hamilton would remind you: the odds were stacks against the Revolution as well. If that doesn’t inspire you to continue putting your name into an online form at 9 a.m. every day, nothing will.

So go ahead, use your apps, charms, positive thinking or whatever rituals you do to keep hope alive, and enter the lottery. Take your shot. History has its eyes on you.

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