Warning: This post will not make much sense if you haven't read "Cheapest Tickets" or "Where to Buy Cheap Tickets."1. Visit the show's website. Not all shows will indicate that they offer rush tickets for sale, but some do (e.g., Avenue Q, Wicked [click on "$25 Lottery"]).
2. Go to the theater and look for signs similar to the one on the right. Not all shows will have signs, and that's why if you don't see any, talk to the person at the box office. Some of them just set up a table at the appointed time.
3. Talk to the person in charge of the lottery and make sure you understood the rules. The person at the box office is most likely not the person in charge of the lottery. Some are nice, others have to be strict. But it's better to follow the rules because I was told that some delight in confiscating winners' tickets if they are caught violating the rules.
4. Be very conscious of the days and times when you plan to line up. Fewer people join the lotteries on week days. And, depending on the show, there are even less for shows that start at times other than the usual 2 pm and 8 pm. For example, people tend to forget that Hairspray is on at 7 pm on Tuesdays, and so, miss joining the lottery.
5. Plan A. Plan B. Plan C. Some shows do their lotteries right after each other. The Wicked and Spelling Bee theaters are actually right next to each other, so if you don't win in the first, you may have a better chance with the second. The same is true of the Avenue Q and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels theaters, which are opposite each other. If you still don't win in the second lottery, you can still ask about SRO tickets at the box office or go to TKTS for half-price tickets.
6. Finally, remember that it's all about luck. When I participated in the Wicked lottery, there were at least 200 people there. Mine was the first name called out of 14 (less than 10 percent). So when I went to other lotteries with 30 to 50 people, I thought that my chances of winning were higher. They were, of course, but I didn't win in three tries this weekend. Not once =)