According to Broadway Direct,the website that manages online sales for Hamilton, a single prime ticket in row K of the orchestra to see the Tony Award-winning musical during the height of the holiday season can cost as much as $472. But did you know that at that very same performance, the people sitting in the first row of the theater will only have paid $10 to see the show?

Ever since Hamilton began performances at the Richard Rodgers Theater, producers of the megahit have set aside all seats in the front row for a handful of lucky people who will get to see the musical about the “ten dollar founding father” for only ten bucks. The daily lottery, dubbed Ham4Ham, quickly became a huge hit with Broadway fans on a budget.

But Broadway lotteries have been around long before Hamilton fired its first shot in 2015. A favorite for bargain hunters, lotteries traditionally used to take place a few hours prior to each performance when eager fans would line up in front of theaters and put their names into a raffle drum to try their luck on a last-minute deal to sold-out shows. The system was great, but it excluded people who couldn’t make it to midtown in time for the lottery. The internet would have to come to the rescue.

These days anyone with web access can enter a Broadway lottery. There is more lead time than a few hours. Some shows announce their winners days in advance of the performance. And since lottery players no longer have to show up in person to enter, they can try their luck in lotteries for multiple shows thus doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling their chances of getting their Broadway fix at a deep discount.


Broadway Lottery FAQs

Do I have to pay to enter a ticket lottery?

No, you enter for free and only pay if you win.

I entered a ticket lottery. How do I know if I won?

Winners get notified by text or email.

If I win, how quickly do I have to claim my tickets?

This policy varies from show to show. But usually, you only have an hour or two to respond. If you enter a lottery, keep an eye on your email. If you snooze, you lose.

How far in advance can I enter a lottery?

This varies from show-to-show. Some shows only let you enter the day before the performance. Other shows let you enter for chances to see performances several days in advance of your entry.

How much do lottery tickets end up costing?

Again, this varies from show to show. Hamilton offers the best deal ($10). Other shows run between $25 and $55 per ticket.

Ready, Set, Enter!

Are you ready to play the lottery? The rules vary depending on which show you want to see. Here’s a show-by-show breakdown of the procedures and policies.

Ham4Ham App 

You can get tickets one week out with this lottery. It opens at 10:00 a.m. ET every Friday and closes 12:00 p.m. the following Thursday prior to the next week’s performances. Winners find out via email and mobile push notification. 

  • Hamilton


Entries for the digital lotteries for these shows start at 12 a.m. ET, one day before the performance. Winners are drawn the same day as the show.

  • A Beautiful Noise
  • An Enemy of the People
  • Appropriate
  • Back to the Future
  • Corruption
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Heart of Rock & Roll
  • Hell’s Kitchen
  • Kimberly Akimbo
  • Lempicka
  • Little Shop of Horrors
  • The Notebook
  • The Outsiders
  • Patriots
  • Stereophonic
  • Suffs
  • The Play That Goes Wrong
  • Uncle Vanya
  • Water for Elephants



Lottery tickets for most of these shows are only for that day's performance and are available on the TodayTix app at 9 a.m. each day on a first-come, first-served basis. People playing the Harry Potter lottery can get tickets for the following week’s performances.

  • & Juliet
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • Mary Jane
  • Merrily We Roll Along
  • Mother Play
  • Doubt
  • Oh, Mary!
  • Sleep No More
  • Titanique


Broadway Direct 

These lotteries open the day before the performances. Winners have 60 minutes to pay for their tickets.

  • Aladdin
  • MJ the musical
  • Six the musical
  • Sweeney Todd
  • The Lion King
  • The Who’s Tommy
  • Wicked
  • The Wiz


Lucky Seat 

Lotteries open each Monday at 10:00 a.m. ET and close the day prior to the performance at 9:59 a.m. ET for weekday performances and Fridays at 9:59 AM ET for all weekend performances.

  • Cabaret
  • Hadestown
  • Illinoise
  • Moulin Rouge, the musical
  • The Book of Mormon