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Monday, July 6, 2009

1.6 Million requests for Michael Jackson memorial tickets

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Like a modern-day Willy Wonka tale, 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."

She immediately Twittered: "OMG OMG OMG OMG i got tickets to the michael jackson memorial service!!!"

David Gobaud, 25, who studies computer science at Stanford University, said he didn't believe his e-mail was real at first. "It's Michael Jackson, one of the greatest musical stars of all time," he said.

Another winner was Zach Moss, a 21-year-old Chicagoan working for the summer as a DJ in Las Vegas. He said clubgoers have responded strongly to Jackson's music since his death.

"You can play two, three Michael Jackson songs back to back and people are going to have this huge jubilation celebration," he said. "Everyone throws their drinks up and shouts, 'MJ!' It's extremely powerful."

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.

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