TAMPA — Anne Tucker arrived at the Straz Center an hour before the scheduled drawing for $25 tickets to Tuesday's opening night of “The Book of Mormon.”
“I took a nap today and I laid my clothes out on the bed, just in case,” said the 53-year-old St. Petersburg resident. “If it's meant to be, it will be.”
It was, because Tucker's was the first name called Tuesday during a pre-show lottery for tickets to the smash musical.
“I'm so excited I'm shaking,” Tucker said as she picked up her tickets and headed home to pick up her 16-year-old niece. “I really wanted these tickets.”
Tucker's odds of winning Tuesday were in her favor — about 16 people registered for a chance at 20 tickets, a big surprise for Straz officials and a welcome one for ticket hopefuls.
Similar lottery giveaways have attracted as many as 800 entries.
“This is my first (ticket) lottery,” said Melanie Driscoll, of Riverview. “I knew I had a 50-50 chance, but when I saw how few people (showed up), I felt luckier.” She won.
Budget-conscious theatergoers will have a chance to see “Mormon” for $25 before every show through Nov. 24. Tickets to the show run $53 to $173.50 each (plus fees).
“The Book of Mormon” tells the satirical story two missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who travel to Uganda to spread the gospel.
The smash musical, by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of the animated series “South Park,” along with Robert Lopez, is the winner of nine Tony Awards, including best musical.
For a chance at lottery tickets, you have to register at the Straz Center in person (to get one or two tickets) up to 2½ hours before each performance. Tickets are drawn two hours before curtain.
Each ticket is $25 (plus a $3 service fee), and you must pay in cash. Winners must be present to win and must show a photo ID.