The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday May 26th

Pit Talk

Senior underloading delays some basketball tickets

By their senior year, most UNC students are used to having both lucky and unlucky experiences with the ticket lottery. Recently, they’ve been having more of the latter.

“I didn’t get an email telling me if I got a ticket or I did not,” said Bailey Mathias, senior basketball fanatic. “It’s okay if I didn’t get them, I’d just like to know one way or another.” 

Other students have been able to relate to Mathias' lack of confirmation. When she tweeted at the ticket office about the issue, she heard from about seven other seniors claiming to have similar issues.

“I tweeted the ticket lottery and they tweeted back telling me to look at my junk mail,” Mathias said. “I checked there and everywhere and haven’t seen anything.”

Russell VanZomeren, senior and Carolina Fever public relations chairman, knows more than the average student about how the ticket lottery works, and shared his insight on the topic. He explained the first email that confirms students have entered the lottery. 

“You find out like five days before if you’ve gotten tickets,” he said.

If that isn’t the case, students typically receive an email telling them they did not win tickets.

“I got an email about the issue because there were so many complaints about it,” VanZomeren said.

He went on to explain how he believes the issue to be related to some seniors underloading their class schedule. Being a full-time student is one of the requirements of getting tickets from the lottery. 

“Essentially what happened what I think is a lot of students were part-time,” VanZomeren said. “A lot of second semester seniors do underload, so the ticket office just assumed they weren’t a full-time student.”

The ticket office decided to have students take a picture of their full-time enrollment and send it to them.

The lottery problem seems simple enough to fix, but doesn’t excuse what happened to Mathias, who is enrolled in 12 credit hours, or to Meghan Ponder, a senior who also reported difficulties. 

“When I went to enter the lottery, I went to and into my student account as usual,” Ponder said. “When I clicked enter, I was taken to a screen that then asked me again for my PID and a “PID number,” and wanted me to register my PID as if I was making a student ticket account for the first time. I closed the browser and tried to log in 4 to 5 times before it eventually logged in like normal and allowed me to sign up for the game.”

The mystery turned out to be regularity for the ticket office.

“There’s not really a bug, this is just something that happens every year to an extent,” said assistant athletic director of ticket operations Tim Sabo. 

Sabo explained that it has to do with the registrar's office and how student’s schedules aren’t set in stone at the beginning of the semester.

“People might not have a full credit load so they don’t show up on the report we see,” Sabo said. “As people get those hours, they become eligible for the tickets.”

Sabo said the issue wasn’t extremely serious or problematic.

“The number of problems was probably in the 50 range and we were able to work through those,” Sabo said.

These issues aren’t enough to turn students away from using the lottery, which is the only way for students to get free tickets.

“I wouldn’t not enter it, I would just hope this doesn’t happen again,” Mathias said. “This would be extremely disappointing for the Duke game.”

While students are understanding about this incident, their patience won’t last forever.

“All I can say, as a senior who has won the lottery only twice in her college career, I hope the system doesn’t “glitch out” over Duke,” Ponder said. 

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