Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fans stand another chance at Led Zeppelin tickets

Now that the fate of all those Oct. 1 ticket passcodes has been decided, the first round of the Led Zeppelin ticket lottery has ended. As a result, the second round should naturally follow any day now.

Those who are in the running for the redraw might be singing, "Luck, be a lady tonight."

What are the odds in this game?

There is no official number of how many tickets remain unpurchased. However, even though this is such a high-demand concert, the number waiting to be given away in the second round may be higher than one would initially presume.

Why would tickets still be available for the second round in the first place? I've attempted to answer this question by categorizing the various reasons why tickets have not yet been purchased.

Better yet, I've also attempted to enumerate these tickets now up for grabs, although many of these numbers come from conservative guesstimates.

There's one category, though, where I appear to have some rare insight, and it has to do with e-mail addresses that weren't working on the day winners were notified. Pay attention here.

Lists of e-mail addresses -- exactly 247 of them -- appeared for a short time on Oct. 1 on a Web page that, in my meager judgment, appeared to be legitimate. The lists contained no information other than e-mail addresses, so no names, no addresses, no phone numbers, none of that. Just straight-up e-mail addresses.

To test whether the addresses were legitimate, I sent e-mail to all 247 addresses. A few replied to confirm they had won the drawing. Nineteen, however, returned undeliverable.

One e-mail was blocked due to a spam filter, but all of the 18 others turned out to be bad e-mail addresses.

Um, who would enter the ballot hoping to go to the most highly anticipated reunion concert of all time by supplying a bad e-mail address? Apparently, that's what these Poindexters did, and there are a dozen-and-a-half of them!

If the lists were indeed authentic, then those figures are astonishing to me. If this is a representative sample of all of the ballet notifications, then it is safe to say that about 7.7 percent of the winning entrants never received their notifications.

Accepting an estimate that 9,000 people were alerted in the first round to give away potentially 1,800 tickets, that's almost 700 people right there who entered the ballot with bad e-mail addresses. This means there would be roughly 1,400 unclaimed tickets!

Still another kind of e-mail response I received was an out-of-office reply, although it indicated the recipient was gone only on Oct. 2 and would be returning Oct. 3. It is likely this particular person read the e-mail in time to use the passcode and purchase a ticket.

But how possible is it that other winning entrants were not checking e-mail for a few days and became aware of their good luck only after the window of opportunity had closed? Pulling a number out of the air, let's say there are about three dozen in that camp. That's another 72 tickets, so our running total is up to 1,472 available.

Another factor of how many seats remain unclaimed is how many of the winning entrants in the first ballot purchased only one ticket rather than the maximum two.

It's just silly not to buy two instead of just one. There's no shortage of people who want to go. Just find one. That second ticket is not attached to any particular ID. Have faith that someone will reimburse you for it.

For the greedy among us, that second ticket could mean big bucks to someone who's going to the show unaccompanied. Of course, the resale of ticket is prohibited, but there are loopholes around that, like what this person in the United States is doing on eBay. Not that I am either advocating or defending such behavior, but this concertgoer is doing something clever that may end up covering his or her roundtrip airfare.

For another number out of the air, let's say there are 28 people going solo without a second ticket to spare and therefore 28 more unclaimed seats. That gives us the tidy number of 1,500 available tickets.

Also increasing the chances are those who received the notification but, for other reasons, did not purchase any tickets at all.

Maybe some have the legitimate excuse that they live outside the United Kingdom and don't possess the paperwork required for international travel. Maybe affording the trip simply wasn't feasible to some.

There could be any number of other reasons why people let the tickets slip through their hands. Of course, these people would have to be lunatics, but who am I to judge?

A hundred with legitimate excuses or are complete lunatics, we'll say, and I think that number is pretty conservative.

That means altogether, 1,600 tickets are available. Eight hundred people could be contacted in the second round.

And how many people entered the ballot with hopes of being among the chosen few? Oh yeah, that's right. A zillion.

Taking all of this into consideration, the odds aren't great, but they're better than could be expected.

I just hope the drawing's second round clarifies without a doubt under what conditions, if any, the passcodes are transferrable.

1 comment:

  1. What else alarms me is... i have not heard of anyone having there tickets canceled yet? .. has this process happened?


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