This year, New York Comic Con introduced an early round of lotteries for legacy fans, people who had attended NYCC in recent years. This special lottery opened for registration early last week and ran until Friday evening. The lottery seemed like a boon to longtime NYCC attendees. You come to NYCC year after year? Perfect, here’s a bonus round raffle to snag access to the hottest panels, most coveted signings, and most mouth watering of all for many NYCC attendees, guaranteed access to exclusive Funko Pops.
Great, right? Yes! Well, yes, except for when Monday came and things started to go awry. When fans signed up for the raffle, they were given the option to enter up to three friends who could win with them. Win a seat to the Dawn of X Main Stage panel? Don’t worry, you don’t have to go alone. You can bring your whole crew with you. Except that when winner notifications went out, none of the winners’ friends received emails. Will you have access to that Tom King signing that your friend won? Who can say until that day of NYCC comes and you try to get on the line?
Another problem is that many fans did not receive any email at all on Monday notifying them if they won or if they lost. These fans found themselves in a limbo of most likely losing, but with the hope that a spam filter blocked a message saying they won. The official NYCC lottery FAQs state “Yes, you will be notified if you are not a winner,” but I don’t know if anyone who received that email.
If you did win, you may have noticed you were limited to winning one event per day. This really drives home the importance of ordering things by which you want most you want. Or else you may end up like this guy, who even when he won, he lost.
According to their shitty replies on FB, no once you win 1 thing you’re out for the 2nd lottery. NYCC consistently disappoints. Vague rules then spell it out afterwards. I won a signing I didn’t want not knowing that would stop my chances for other contests. SAY THAT UPFRONT!!
— Brett (@37Brett) September 25, 2019
If you’re entering with friends, a good strategy to game the system may be for everyone to have different first choice picks. On the off chance you both win, and both listed each other as +1s, you could get into two events instead of one for that day if you ordered your events differently. This is because if your friend wins one event with you listed as a guest, this does not nullify your own entries.
I emailed them about this and they said if you won something via a friend then you’ll still be entered in a second time, so good news!
— Spud the Legend (@LoLSpud) September 25, 2019
The lottery reopened on Tuesday for anyone who wasn’t able to enter the first time around, whether they are non-legacy fans or legacy fans who forgot to enter. And everyone who lost in the first round was supposed to be able to reenter on Tuesday as well. If you were a legacy fan who tried entering again for a second chance, you knew that didn’t quite happen. Legacy fans who entered the lottery the first time around were greeted with an error message telling them they had already entered the lottery and could not make picks again.
Thankfully, NYCC tweeted out afterwards that all legacy fans who had previously entered had their initial picks automatically entered again. Yay for convenience, but boo for getting the message out incorrectly initially.
(2/2) That's the reason why it isn't letting you re-enter today. There is NO ACTION needed from you. You've been entered for your second chance at winning. Good luck! And sorry for any pre-NYCC stress caused. If you have any questions, please email [email protected]
— New York Comic Con (@NY_Comic_Con) September 24, 2019
What NYCC didn’t address was this error screen. Some fans who entered the second round lottery received an error at the end saying the system was unable to invite friends. Trying again repeated the same error until it eventually took you back to the lottery’s main page. Are you friends included in your entry? Who can say, as no confirmation no goes out to friends when you enter them as your +1.
Winners of the second round lottery find out if they won later today, Monday, September 30. Hopefully that goes smoother than the winners announcement from the first round. And hopefully NYCC sends out emails on that day to the friends of winners of the legacy round to let them know they won by proxy. One can dream.
The good news is that once NYCC works out the kinks with the lottery system, this legacy lottery system will be very beneficial to those fans who return to NYCC year after year. It’s also another reason to buy your passes directly from NYCC and not from the secondary market. What are your thoughts on the NYCC lottery? What would you like to see included in it for NYCC 2020?