Jackson Fans Win Memorial Service Tickets in Lottery

July 5, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Fresno teen is one of the lucky Michael Jackson fans awarded tickets to the pop star's memorial service in Sunday's lottery.Over 17,000 Michael Jackson fans, devastated over his sudden death 10 days ago, are now celebrating the fact that they will get a seat at the king of pop's memorial service this Tuesday in Los Angeles.

The area around the staples center will be sealed off with the help of 2,500 police officers. Fearing crowds of a half million or more, authorities are telling fans: don't come out if you didn't win a ticket.

"It really just doesn't make a lot of sense for purposes of being able to see or participate in the event. I'm hoping that people will heed that advice and to the degree that that's possible we'll have much smaller crowds," said L.A.P.D. Assistant Chief Jim McConnell.

The Jackson family will hold a private gathering at the forest lawn cemetery in the Hollywood Hills before the very public memorial to be beamed around the world.

Of those who won tickets, 11,000 fans will get inside the actual memorial in the Staples Center while there are 6,500 seats in the Nokia Theater overflow section next door.

Action News spoke to a few people from the Valley who were packing their bags for L.A. and the memorial service.

18-year-old Dominic Rios of Fresno is one of the lucky few who won the lottery for tickets. Rios said he entered his name, not thinking it would be chosen. But a few hours ago, he got the e-mail congratulating him on winning the tickets. "It was just a complete impulsive thing to do and I was just shocked and amazed, like I was speechless really."

Rios is bringing his girlfriend to the memorial service. They have to be at Dodger Stadium Monday to pick up the tickets and to get wristbands.

Rios also won another recent lottery for tickets to see Michelle Obama give the commencement speech at U.C. Merced.

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