There were more than 2 million text messages sent to Live 8 organizers to bid for pairs of tickets to the concert, organizers said Monday, easily becoming the largest text-message lottery in history.
"Texting is a relatively new concept," said Hein Le Roux, Records Adjudicator at the Guinness Book of World Records. "There's got to be a first for everything and this one is a great cause."
Some 66,500 lucky people who sent text messages, selected at random, will receive pairs of tickets to the July 2 show. O2, the company managing the text message competition, has already started sending out texts to fortunate fans who won. All recipients will be informed by midnight on Wednesday.
"Notifications are going out as we speak," said Dave Massey, spokesman for O2. "If you haven't got a notification by the end of the day on Wednesday, you aren't one of the winners."
Of the four other Live 8 concerts happening worldwide in early July, Britain is the only location that capitalized on the current texting trends. A similar system has been set up for the Edinburgh show on July 6.
"How many people in America text? Hardly any," said Bernard Doherty, CEO of LD Communications, the publicity firm for Live 8. "My son texts me when he's two yards away and wants some food from the kitchen."
At $2.72 per text, the group collected more than $5.4 million in the lottery.
The first $2.9 million will go toward the Prince's Trust, a youth charity established by Prince Charles. Live 8 agreed to make this donation in return for the cancellation of Party in the Park, the Prince's Trust's annual concert in Hyde Park.
Another $360,000 will be donated to a group to improve children's mental health called Help A London Child.
The remaining funds will be spent on materials for the concert in Hyde Park.