Bay Area man off to LA for Jackson memorial

July 6, 2009 5:46:20 PM PDT
Some of the Jackson lottery winners left the Bay Area Monday morning in order to make it to Los Angeles in time to claim their tickets. But, one ticket holder from Palo Alto says he may not be able to get there in time.

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Michael Soleta is one of the chosen few who will attend Michael Jackson's memorial Tuesday. He moonwalked his way out of the Bay Area Monday morning headed for Los Angeles. He has to pick up his tickets by 6 p.m. at Dodger Stadium.

"I've always wanted to go to a concert and couldn't because he passed away, so this is the last chance to pay my respects to one of the greatest performers that ever lived," Soleta said.

Soleta may have missed his opportunity to see Jackson in concert, but Tuesday's tribute will include performances by an all-star line up including Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, John Mayer, Jennifer Hudson and more.

Out of the 1.6 million fans who registered online, hoping for a ticket, 19-year-old Soleta is one of just 8,750 chosen at random. After the shock and excitement set in, he was then forced to choose who to take along.

"It was hard but I picked my older sister because she grew up with his music more than I have because she is older," Soleta said.

David Gobaud of Palo Alto also won two tickets. When ABC7 spoke with him Monday afternoon, he said was not going to make it to Los Angeles in time and is hoping a friend can pick up the tickets for him.

But for security reasons each Jackson lottery winner has to show up in person to get his tickets -- a system designed to prevent scalping of the free passes.

An article is posted on Craigslist warning people not to buy any tickets that might be listed because they will not be able to use them. But still, throughout the day tickets have been listed on eBay for thousands of dollars.

Los Angeles police will have 2,500 officers stationed around the Staples Center for crowd control. It will cost the department $2.5 million to provide security for the event.

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