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Tricky ticketing: Here's how the student ticket lottery works for the UNC-Duke men's basketball game

Texture courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Most UNC students never hope to receive a seat in the Dean E. Smith Center more than they do for the annual rivalry showdown against Duke.

However, attaining a ticket for the game is not quite as simple as it is for every other men’s basketball home matchup. Here's how the student ticket lottery works for the UNC-Duke men's basketball game:

Typically, the student ticket lottery system notifies all students 10 days before a men’s basketball game, and allows them to enter the free lottery during a 48-hour window. Students who enter have an equal chance of receiving two tickets, regardless of their class year at UNC.

Fever points, which are earned by attending designated sporting events, are awarded throughout the year to UNC Athletics' most avid student fans. For other men's basketball games, the 200 students with the highest number of fever points that join each lottery automatically receive two Phase 1 tickets.

While this fever point system still applies to the Duke lottery, the top-200 fever point holders who enter the lottery will only receive one ticket instead of two. 

After those 200 students are given tickets, half of the remaining Phase 1 tickets will be distributed to ticket lottery winners, prioritizing other students with accumulated fever points. The remaining Phase 1 tickets are randomly allotted to students who win the lottery. 

Another way that loyal UNC men’s basketball fans are rewarded in the Duke lottery is by giving better odds to students who have attended multiple men’s basketball games throughout the season. Attendance of these games is recorded through students getting their Carolina Fever ID scanned in the GoHeels app upon entry to the Smith Center.

Finally, graduating students are granted priority in the lottery as well, in an effort to ensure all undergraduates have the chance to attend the game before graduation if desired. 

For all remaining students, there are five phases of entry that begin in 30-minute increments starting two and a half hours before tip-off. This is more than the typical three phases of entry that begin one and a half hours before tip-off for all other men’s basketball games. Aside from the aforementioned guaranteed first-phase ticket recipients, phase numbers are randomly assigned to all other students who win the lottery. 

Student tickets for the men’s basketball game against Duke are transferable from one student to another full-time, fees-paying student, just as they are throughout the rest of the season. However, these tickets can't be sold by one student to another, and doing so can result in revocation of all future ticket privileges.

While the chances of getting in without a student lottery ticket may be slim, a stand-by line is available starting one and a half hours before game time, which permits entry to students if extra seats become available. 


@dthsports |

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