Tupelo woman wins tickets to Jackson memorial

TUPELO – Against huge odds, a Tupelo woman has won tickets to the Michael Jackson memorial service today in Los Angeles, but they won’t be used – only saved.
Christi Walker, 38, of Tupelo, was among the more than 1.6 million to apply for free tickets for the superstar’s memorial at the Staples Center, and only one of 8,750 actually selected to go.
Because she’s busy with work, she said, “I’m not going, but I’m going to keep the tickets. They’re a collector’s item.”
Jackson’s memorial will take place at 10 a.m. Pacific and will air on many channels and even in a few select theaters.
Fans had to register online Friday and Saturday for the chance to win tickets, and then 8,750 names were drawn randomly. Those who won received two tickets each, so 17,500 fans will be in attendance.
Walker’s brother, who lives in Lake Tahoe, drove seven hours to pick up his sister’s tickets at Dodger Stadium.
“He said it was really secure,” she said, noting he had to go through several gates before he was ever given the tickets. He took the voucher that was e-mailed to Walker to the Stadium.
“At the first gate, they checked the voucher … at the second gate they checked his ID, at the third gate they checked both the voucher and his ID, at the fourth gate they gave him the wristbands, and at the fifth gate he finally got the tickets,” she said.
Wristbands are attached to the tickets, and wristbands that have been tampered with will be voided.
Performers at the memorial service include Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Usher, Lionel Richie, John Mayer and Jennifer Hudson.
“I’d love to go – there’s just going to be so many great artists,” Walker said. “It would be something to see.”

Contact Sheena Barnett at (662) 678-1580 or sheena.barnett@djournal.com.

Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal