Broadway Goes Digital

Laura Bedrossian

Unless you live in a hole or really just dislike live shows, you know that “Hamilton” is one of the hottest and most sought after tickets currently on Broadway. Like many popular shows, “Hamilton” has a great lottery system—giving away 21 $10 tickets for each show. An affordable option for a chance to see the high-priced show that’s sold out through the beginning of 2017 (unless you’d like to buy resale tickets which can be comparable to a month of rent or a mortgage payment). But after hundreds started to crowd to enter the lottery, the show did something amazing and created a digital lottery–thanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

I love this simply because it’s a great solution for a big problem. Lottery winner hopefuls had grown so large and started to pile in the street that it was becoming a safety issue. Also, if you’re like me and have been trying to get tickets since the show opened up at Joe’s Public Theater before heading to its current spot at the Richard Rodgers Theater, you can enter more often. Now you can enter the lottery for each show and have an email alert you to whether you’ve won or lost without leaving your desk.

But, going digital has its problems. Now instead of competing against hundreds for each lottery and dodging cars while you wait to hear your fate in the street, you’re competing against thousands and are more likely to get that terrible “try again” email. In fact, the first lottery in January crashed the site’s server due to 50,000 people trying to enter.

So, while your chances of winning goes down, it’s nice that you don’t have to physically go to the theater for each lottery. You’re also able to see the special videos tagged with #Ham4Ham of cast members singing songs or sharing messages while they wish viewers luck with the lottery. My favorite so far is when Sesame Street got involved, but there are new stars taking part often (Elmo’s a star, right?). Some have even thought of ways to help make entering the lottery even easier like this the Ham Lottery App, which tells a user when the lottery has opened so you can enter.

The takeaway here? Digital solutions that solve problems (and help to avoid someone getting hit by a car surely qualifies) are great examples of how to improve a customer experience. I’d add the link to the Hamilton digital lottery, but I don’t want everyone’s (my) chances of winning to go down even more . . .