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Nearly 250 students have a chance to see 'Hamilton' for free

SALT LAKE CITY — Didn't make it into the room where it happens today? Your shot doesn't have to be thrown away just yet.

Tickets for the Tony Award-winning musical "Hamilton" went on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Friday — both online and in person — but they were gone by about 2 p.m., the Deseret News reported earlier today.

While a statement from MagicSpace Entertainment noted that additional seats may be available for sale closer to the show's April 11-May 6 run, Utah high school and charter school students have their own shot at winning tickets to the production.

The catch? Follow the lead of Alexander Hamilton and write a letter to an elected official — either a state legislator or a Salt Lake City or Salt Lake County Council member.

Through the New Nation Project, a program run by the state Department of Heritage and Arts, high school students can enter a random drawing to win a ticket to see "Hamilton" in Salt Lake City on either April 19 or 21, according to a news release. To have a qualified entry, students must write a letter to one of their legislators that describes an issue and proposes a solution. Entry forms and additional details can be found atnewnationproject.utah.gov. Winners will be drawn randomly.

"We didn't want to make this a competition," said Josh Loftin, public information officer for Utah's Department of Heritage and Arts, told the Deseret News. "It's a random drawing. … Our goal is not to reward the best person — we just want everybody to have a chance to win because we want to reward civic engagement generally."

Including both the House and Senate, Utah has 104 legislative districts. Two students from each of these districts will win a ticket to see "Hamilton" with their respective elected officials (who pay face value for their own tickets). In addition, two students from each Salt Lake City Council District and Salt Lake County Council District (a total of 16) will also win a ticket to attend "Hamilton" with their elected officials — making a grand total of 240 tickets, with a future announcement pending about a small handful of additional tickets.

"That's how we're going to make sure it's not just overloaded with kids from Salt Lake," Loftin said. "We want to get kids from all over the state to be able to come to this. And if they're coming from … more than 50 miles, they'll be reimbursed for travel expenses. We want to get those rural kids who don't have as many chances in particular to be able to come."

This contest is part of the New Nation Project, a program that aims to give people in the Beehive State the chance to become involved in the excitement surrounding the Broadway musical's arrival in Utah, according to its website. The project also includes an exhibition at the Utah State Capitol and library displays about the founding era.

To receive the latest updates on "Hamilton's" Utah run, sign up at broadwayattheeccles.com.