Tickets for Michael Jackson Memorial Being Scalped

When are free tickets not so free? When they’re for Tuesday night’s memorial service for Michael Jackson at Staples Center in Los Angeles, and when opportunists who were fortunate enough to secure them in a lottery post them on sites like craigslist and eBay.

CNET reported that one craigslist poster was offering two tickets to the service for the bargain-basement price of $2,000. That listing was since flagged for removal. But many posters inserted their e-mail addresses and phone numbers directly into the headlines of their posts so they could be contacted directly.

The tickets may not do potential buyers any good, anyway, as Michael Roth, spokesman for AEG, the company that had been organizing Jackson’s 50 London concerts and is organizing the service, said in a blog on the Los Angeles Times site, “In addition to the vouchers received via a special code, ticket holders will have to show a valid driver’s license, and those whose IDs do not match the registration information will be eliminated as guests.”

NBC’s Today featured one not-so-lucky ticket winner, Rob O’Sullivan of Houston, who is unemployed and can’t afford to go to Los Angeles to pick up the tickets he won in the lottery for the memorial service.

O’Sullivan told Meredith Viera his daughter needs heart surgery, so he believes it was reasonable to try to sell the tickets for $15,000, later dropping the price. He added that he would offer a money-back guarantee if the buyer could not pick up the tickets.