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Unless you're lucky, it'll take you dozens of Alexander Hamiltons to buy a ticket to the hip-hop Broadway musical bearing his name — and prices could rise further yet.
As far as demand goes, analysts say "Hamilton" is in a league of its own.
At peak popularity for another hot show, "Book of Mormon," secondary market tickets averaged $600 to $800, said Chris Matcovich, vice president of data and communications for aggregator TiqIQ.com. That's currently the typical "get-in price" for "Hamilton," he said — the show's overall market averages roughly $1,200.
Box office prices start at $139 for a standard ticket and jump to a whopping $549 for premium, but the show is sold out through January. The on-sale date and pricing for the next ticket block have yet to be announced.
Representatives for the Richard Rogers Theater, home to "Hamilton," did not respond to requests for comment about ticketing.
While you're waiting for that next ticket block to open up, or if you want to see the show sooner than 2017, here's how to snag a ticket:
Ready your AmEx
American Express cardholders got early access to Hamilton tickets at box office prices during three presale events in August and September 2015 and January 2016, all of which "sold out within days," said Jane Di Leo, a spokeswoman for the card issuer. The most recent block was available a week before sales opened to the general public.
But it's unclear if this will continue to be a viable strategy.
"I cannot comment on future presale partnerships with 'Hamilton,'" Di Leo said.
Enter the ticket lottery
There's one for every performance, offering the chance at 21 first-row seats for $10 each. The lottery is digital for all performances except Wednesday matinees, where you'll need to show up in person to enter. Each winner can snag up to two tickets.
Don't bank on an easy win, though. On average, more than 10,000 people enter each lottery, according to the show's FAQ page. To put that in perspective, you're roughly as likely to win $50 in the Mega Millions jackpot (1 in 10,720).
The in-person lottery tends to draw large crowds, too, said New Yorker Mark Levy, who chronicles his attempts — 31 and counting — on the Facebook page "Will Mark Levy Ever See Hamilton?" (Levy, who saw the show with a standing-room ticket in January, also enters the digital lottery most days in his bid to score a seat.)
At Levy's latest lottery visit in late April, there were roughly 1,500 people; over the holidays, he saw crowds surpassing 3,000. On one of the "best" nights, he said, "there were only — I can't believe I'm saying 'only' — about 200 people."
Shop the resale market, carefully
Although there are dozens of tickets available on the secondary market for any given day, prices can seem like a choice between bad and worse. But there are a few factors to be mindful of — namely, timing.
"Each day is its own market," SeatGeek.com's Leyden said.
Friday and Saturday shows tend to be priciest, with average prices in the mid to high $700 range, he said. Sundays are cheapest at an average $591 (not surprising, since that's Miranda's day off), with Wednesdays a close second at an average $635.
Timing your purchase might help, too.
"Looking at 'Hamilton' prices, the highest they are is about three and 25 days out from the show," Leyden said. "Either buy a month out, or try and wait until the last minute."
If you're trying to buy online, check to see what the selling site's policies are for problems including canceled shows and counterfeits, said Matcovich. (StubHub, for example, promises comparable replacements or a refund if tickets don't arrive on time or aren't valid.) "You should be buying from a reputable dealer," he said.
There have been several arrests of individuals for allegedly selling counterfeit "Hamilton" tickets. Miranda and producer Jeffrey Seller have also warned fans to be cautious about fakes.
Try for cancellation seats
Sold out isn't always sold out, if you're willing to get in line outside the box office on the day of the show. "Cancellations are a possibility," said Ken Davenport, a Tony award-winning Broadway producer, who has been behind hits including "Kinky Boots" and "Spring Awakening." "You never know."
It's common for the box office to hold seats for guests of the stars and in case of VIPs, he said, which would be released at the last minute if not needed. There may be standing-room tickets reserved for guests of the cast and crew, or unclaimed lottery seats.
But snagging a cancellation seat, though appealing, isn't that easy. In December, someone could get in line six to eight hours before curtain time and have a decent chance at a "Hamilton" cancellation ticket, said Robert Samuel, chief executive of line-waiting service Same Ole Line Dudes, which has had to introduce "Hamilton"-specific policies. Now, he said, lines start days in advance.
"People are in line for the Saturday matinee, and the matinee is at 2 o'clock … and they're in line at 2 o'clock [Thursday]," he said.
Buy in as a plus-one
When there's a Broadway show Richard Laermer, chief executive of RLM PR, wants to see, he heads to the theater shortly before curtain time in search of someone with a spare. There's always at least one ticketholder whose friend got sick or stood them up — yes, even for "Hamilton," said Laermer, who has scored face-value tickets on both of his attempts to see the show.
It's a legal purchase. New York law allows individuals to resell event tickets bought for personal use at or below face value, provided they make the sale at least 500 feet from the ticket office.
To ensure he isn't scammed, Laermer insists the seller walk with him to the box office to have the ticket checked before handing over cash. "Your job is to be eagle-eyed, find those people and be nice to them," he said. "They're already having a pretty bad day."