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Lottery offers last chance for tickets

For 14 students, obtaining a ticket yesterday to the first-round NCAA tournament game between Princeton and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas was as simple as typing "Bill Bradley, 58 points, Wichita State, 1965" and paying $30.

The USG sponsored a lottery for tonight's game by posting a basketball-related trivia question on the Web. The question asked for the name of the University alumnus who held the record for "most points scored" in a single Final Four game.

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The lottery began yesterday at 7:30 a.m. and closed at 1 p.m. A total of 233 students responded, but after disqualifying students who had cheated or given the wrong answer, only 185 students remained eligible for the tickets.

A built-in verification system prevented students from entering the lottery multiple times using different names. Students included their email usernames and passwords in their responses, but the Website also kept a running log of the contest participants. Students who entered more than once were deleted from the log because that was considered cheating.

T.J. Mather '99 designed the lottery Web page and the log system. "In case the email system went down, the log system guarantees that you'll have everything there in one place," he said.

Tickets good today only

Ticket holders, including Carmodyville residents and lottery winners, can pick up their tickets at the will-call booth at the Hartford Civic Center. Carmodyville residents paid $60 for a set of tickets for both today's and Saturday games.

The University purchased the additional student tickets from Eastern Michigan University, but these tickets are only valid for tonight's game. Lottery winners will be seated in a different section from Carmodyville colony members.

The USG helped the athletic department distribute the tickets fairly, said USG president David Ascher '99. "But we normally don't see ourselves as ticket regulators," he added.

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If the basketball team wins tonight, the University may obtain more tickets for Saturday's game. "We haven't started thinking about how we would distribute those tickets yet," Ascher said.

He explained that the USG found out about the extra tickets Tuesday afternoon and wanted to distribute them in a fair way, but still make sure those at the game were dedicated fans.

"We knew that 100 students spent two days camping out for their tickets. We didn't want to make it too easy to obtain these tickets," Ascher said.

"By requiring students to correctly answer a trivia question before entering the lottery, we made sure that winners would at least care and be knowledgeable about the team," he added.

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Still, not everyone was pleased with the lottery system. Evan Goldstein '98 said, "I would much rather have had a chance to stand in line or do a foul-shooting contest."

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