On Sunday evening Vanessa Fuerte, 20, a student at The University of Texas-Pan American was notified online via e-mail at about 6 p.m. that she had won two tickets to Michael Jackson's Memorial Service in Los Angeles for Tuesday morning.
On Sunday Vanessa, shaking from excitement, called her family to verify her computer at home that read in bold type "Congratulations, your application was successful, to claim your tickets follow these steps" confirming she had won two tickets to the Jackson's memorial.
Unsure of whether it was real or not, Fuerte said she started crying from the excitement of winning the coveted tickets, which were available at staplescenter.com last Friday and Saturday. Fuerte and her uncle Eduardo Moreno, who is director of Information Technology at Edinburg Public Schools, are currently in L.A. to attend the event.
Reports say that more than 1.6 million fans registered to win the tickets but only 8,750 names were selected. It was a 1 in 183 chance, reports say. No one else from the Valley has confirmed they will be attending as of Monday.
"It's unreal, even though I have the tickets in my hand I still feel like this is all a dream, that I was lucky enough out of the millions of people who actually got tickets," Fuerte said.
The memorial event will take place on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Liza Minnelli and Elizabeth Taylor are among the guests expected to attend the ceremony being held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
She goes from dancing to Jackson's songs in her room at age seven, to arguably the most anticipated event in the country.
As of Monday evening Fuerte had already picked up her two tickets at Dodger Stadium and was enjoying downtown Los Angeles. Fuerte confirmed that her tickets include seating at the Staples Center, where Jackson's memorial will take place, as opposed to the Nokia Theater where an overflow area has been set up for spectators who will watch the event on big screens.
"It's so unbelievable that I'm going to be a part of something that will go down in history forever," Fuerte said. "It's not something that somebody can just call and say 'oh, I was a part of it' no, it's real and only a few thousand people were a part of it."