The TIFF lottery picks a winner

Folks who turned in their ticket request forms at the Toronto International Film Festival box office around the noon hour today are probably going to get all of their first-string picks: TIFF has just announced that they have selected Box 22 as the start point in their random lottery for which stack of ticket orders gets processed first.

It may not be the fairest methodology of all time, but it's the one TIFF has stuck with as the only way to make their ordering system work. All pass-holders fill out request sheets of first- and second-choice films for each time slot they will be attending at the festival. Those envelopes go into a series of boxes. And then TIFF randomly picks a box, and starts processing the orders from there.

Box 22 is it for this year. So if you're in Box 23, for example, you're virtually guaranteed to get everything you chose. There are 40 boxes in total, and anyone in Boxes 22-40 is in really good shape.

Once those boxes have been processed, the order-handlers swing around to Box 1, and then work up to Box 21. If you're in Box 21 today, expect to get a fat load of nothing back, unless you picked the single most unpopular lineup of films one could possibly imagine. Any time TIFF can't fill either your first- or second-choice pick, you get a pass voucher which can be used at any screening at the festival.

I, sadly, was in Box 14 when I turned in my picks at 8:00 this morning, so I'm expecting to have to do a lot of running around early next week to turn in second-choice tickets, and turn vouchers into screenings on films that I desperately want to see. After that, it's looking like a week of rush lines and broken dreams... but that's the festival for you!


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