A Web site where fans of singer Michael Jackson were invited to register for a random drawing of 17,500 tickets to his memorial celebration was inundated today, shortly after the drawing was announced.
The PR firm Sachs & Associates announced that within the first hour-and-a-half of allowing fans to sign up for the drawing, the Web site received 500,000,000 hits, averaging 120,000 per second.
Duplicate registrations are not allowed, so those seeking a chance are being asked to log on only once. Meanwhile, an additional server has been added to accommodate the volume of traffic.
The random drawing will be held Sunday to award 17,500 free tickets to fans.
As of 8:30 p.m. EDT, there were 524,330 registrants for the service.
AEG has announced that since the registration process was initiated this morning, additional legal terms have been incorporated into the conditions of entry to allow non-U.S. residents the opportunity to register for the random ticket drawing.
The tickets and wristbands will gain the bearer admittance to the Staples Center or to the neighboring Nokia Theatre where the event (beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 7) will be simulcast.
No tickets to the event will be sold.
CBS News correspondent Peter King said organizers are saying anyone who doesn't have a ticket and a wristband, or a media credential, will not be allowed anywhere near the event on Tuesday. Streets around the Staples Center will be blocked to prevent non-ticketholders from gaining access to the area.
Those who wish to register for a chance to receive a pair of tickets are being directed to the staplescenter.com Web site to register, beginning now and continuing through Saturday, July 4, at 6:00 p.m. P.T.
Only one entry per individual will be accepted. The offer is open to U.S. residents only.
On Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. P.T., 8,750 names will be drawn at random by computer and contacted by e-mail to receive a code with which they will obtain a pair of tickets and wristbands from Ticketmaster.
There will be no distribution of tickets at the Staples Center or at L.A. Live.
In an effort to curb the crowd, the memorial will not be shown on the outdoor plaza Jumbotrons, and there will not be a funeral procession, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy. The cash-strapped city of Los Angeles will likely foot the bill for a massive police presence.
The Jackson Family also announced that a worldwide pool feed of Tuesday's memorial celebration at the Staples Center for the late Michael Jackson will be provided free to all media and for streaming on the Internet.