National Christmas Tree Ticket Lottery Opens

Online Lottery Runs Oct. 25-29

You may be used to getting up early on Christmas morning -- but you don't have to do the same to snap up tickets for Dec. 6's National Christmas Tree Lighting.

The lottery opened 10 a.m. Thursday, with 3,000 seated tickets and 14,000 standing-room tickets up for grabs.

Those selected will get the chance to see musical performances and the tree lighting on the White House lawn, which is traditionally attended by the First Family.

This year's online ticket lottery will run through 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29. You can enter by visiting and clicking the "Ticket Lottery" link.

It doesn't matter when you enter during that time period; all entries have an equal chance of being selected. Those without computer access (obviously, not you) can call 877-444-6777 or, for TDD, 877-833-6777.

Winners will be notified by Nov. 1 and will receive their tickets in the mail. Entrants can also check the status of their entries by signing into starting Nov. 1.

Last year's lottery was held the first week in November, but we're guessing the White House will be just a tiny bit busy during that week this year.


If you don't get tickets, you can watch the pre-show and tree lighting ceremony starting at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6 here. If you miss it, you can catch it on-demand there afterward.

You can also watch it broadcast on WETA, which will first air the event on Friday, Dec. 7, and will continue to show it throughout the holiday season. Check your local listings.


This year's talent lineup is generally announced closer to the event.

Performers in 2011 included OneRepublic, country artist Rodney Atkins, former Floetry member Marsha Ambrosius, and Kermit the Frog (obviously). Carson Daley hosted.

Talent in 2010 included rapper Common, Miss America Caressa Cameron, Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson and 10-year-old opera singer Jackie Evancho of "America's Got Talent."


For the second year in a row, one notable change is the tree itself. A Colorado blue spruce planted on the Ellipse in March 2011 served as the National Christmas Tree for only one year. The National Park Service announced in May 2012 that it had died due to complications resulting from "transplant shock."

That tree had been planted to replace the previous National Christmas Tree, which stood for more than three decades but was was downed by high winds in February 2011.

As with previous trees, the new tree will be decorated and then lit nightly during the holiday season. The NPS has designated a successor tree, which will be transplanted later this month.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us