Love Broadway but on a budget? Give Blumenthal’s Digital Lottery a Spin!

July 8, 2024 / Blog
By Liz Rothaus Bertrand

Blumenthal believes the arts are for everyone and works to provide access through a variety of programs, from subscriptions to student discount tickets and special offers throughout the year.

But do you know about the Digital Lottery?

It’s an awesome way to snag tickets for a show when you’re on a budget. If you’ve got some flexibility on performance dates and seat locations, try your luck!

Why does Blumenthal offer the lottery?

“Protecting ticket affordability and accessibility are important to Blumenthal Arts’ mission,” says Blumenthal’s VP of Marketing Danny Knaub. “And while student rush pricing is available for students, it’s important to us [that] we make tickets available to anybody who can’t afford a ticket.”

A little bit of history

The program isn’t new. It was first introduced in the 1990s with the hit rock musical “RENT,” by Broadway producer Jeffrey Seller.

“The very show about struggling artists unable to pay their rent dedicated the first two rows to that very same demographic for only $20—a far cry from what a typical Broadway show ticket goes for, ” Knaub says.

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(Danny Knaub, Blumenthal Arts' VP of Marketing)

Back then, people would actually line up overnight in Times Square to have a chance at getting “rush tickets” to the otherwise sold out show. Eventually, safety concerns for people camping outside the theater led the musical’s producers to opt for a lottery system. Even that option was available only in person at the box office for many years and numerous shows.

These days, Blumenthal’s lottery, like those offered on Broadway, has gone digital and it’s included hits as big as “Hamilton” (another Jeffrey Seller production), which famously offered lottery tickets “for a Hamilton” (i.e., a ten dollar bill).

For years, Blumenthal partnered with the website Lucky Seat—“an incredible partner,” according to Knaub.

But Blumenthal has its own award-winning ticketing services team and the goal was always to bring the program in house. (Blumenthal was named “Outstanding Ticketing Office” in 2022 by INTIX: The International Association for Ticketing and Box Office Professionals.)

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(Members of Blumenthal Arts' award-winning Ticketing Department with their 2022 "Outstanding Ticketing Office" award by INTIX)

“We happen to believe our Blumenthal ticketing team are the best in the business and provide the greatest possible customer service,” Knaub says. Blumenthal’s leadership also recognized implementing the program would require a lot of work and careful attention to various intricacies.

“So we took our time, endlessly tested, and finally rolled it out in February to great success,” Knaub says. “Launching our own lottery also lets us reduce the number of fees our guests pay since we don’t add anything on top of the facility and credit card fees.”


(Members of Blumenthal Art's award-winning Ticketing Department)

As of May 29, more than 1,700 people have signed up to receive emails with updates on Blumenthal Arts’ Digital Lottery. And 2,429 lottery tickets have been sold since the official launch in February with “Mean Girls.”

How does the digital lottery work?

→ Right now the lottery is available for select Broadway tours.

→ Most show lotteries are announced 3 weeks before they arrive in Charlotte.

→ Exact price varies depending on the production, but most fall around $25 - $30.

→ When you sign up for a show lottery, you indicate how many tickets you are seeking (up to 2) and the performance dates you are able to attend.

→ Winners are selected at random.

→ If you win, you will receive an email from Blumenthal Arts with payment instructions. You have 24 hours in which to purchase your tickets.

→ You’ll pick them up at the box office right before the show.

Note: ticket locations are subject to availability and assigned at the discretion of Blumenthal Arts box office. Single seats and pairs are available for purchase but pairs may need to be seated separately, depending on availability. In some cases, seats may be labeled “limited view,” to indicate a partial obstruction.

You can sign up here for alerts so you’ll be first to know when a new lottery is available.

“Our goal is to have every Broadway performance available,” Knaub says, “but shows can sell out in advance and tickets can be limited.”

What it’s like from an audience perspective

For avid theatergoer Ryan Stinnett, Blumenthal’s Digital Lottery has provided a way to see even more shows. He enters the lottery every chance he can and has won multiple times, including tickets for the recent tours of “Moulin Rouge” and “Hadestown.”


He says his seats have been great and the process is very user-friendly. He encourages others to give it a try, especially for productions they wouldn’t normally buy tickets for.

“Go for two tickets and take a friend who doesn’t attend the theater,” he adds. “Use the money you’re saving from buying one full-price to get two tickets and quite possibly expose them to some life-changing art.”


(Theater goer Ryan Stinnett with his father at a performance of Ain't Too Proud at Belk Theater)

Want to see what’s currently available? Visit to check out the latest offers.