|Photo by Shawn Carpenter|
Today is the last day to enter the initial lottery for tickets to that other big London event: the Olympics.
A total of 650 events across 26 sports are on offer; purchasers will be limited to a maximum of 20 events each to discourage scalpers. The tickets are being distributed by means of an elaborate lottery system; click here for the official explanation and website. Deadline for applications? Tonight, 11:59 PM GMT.
Will this be the last time Olympic tickets are sold? No, and that's been made clear by the Olympic Committee. But those uber-popular events, such as the opening ceremony and the finals in gymnastics, will likely be snatched up in this round, so if they're what interests you, get in the game today!
Its important to realize that you don't need to set up lodgings accommodations now in order to bid. Nor is it necessarily wise to do so. For every Olympics, those who have waited until the last month to book hotel room have generally paid far less for their lodgings than early birds. (I say this from experience; I was in Beijing during the last Olympics and secured my room, at a reasonable rate, just three days before I arrived in Beijing.) That's because all of the international committees hold blocks of rooms for their hundreds of members. Not all of the members make the event, so in the last month and weeks before the Olympics, rooms are released to the general public and prices fall.
In Beijing, I didn't go to a single game (long story), but even without direct participation in the event, being in the city, seeing the athletes at the Forbidden Palace (and other tourist sights), mingling with the giddy crowds, snapping up souvenirs--it really was a thrill. If you have the means and the time, being in the city where an Olympics is taking place is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.