ICANN has started selling its $100-a-pop New gTLD Prioritization Draw raffle tickets in Los Angeles, with a little less than a week to go until the make-or-break drawing.
The organization is understandably eager not to balls it up this time — the Draw replaces Digital Archery, which was killed off largely due to how silly it was — so there are strict rules in place.
Due to the Californian lottery laws the Draw will operate under, applicants have to show up in person to buy their tickets, or ask a designated proxy to do it for them.
To avoid any funny business, each buyer has to show up with a government ID with details matching those on the special Designation Form, which in turn must be signed by a named individual from the gTLD application itself.
It’s strictly one ticket per application, of course.
Some applicants have got in early. Here’s photographic evidence that some applicants have successfully bought theirs, courtesy of Uniregistry counsel Bret Fausett.
The draw itself will take place on December 17, starting at about 1pm local time, at the LA airport Hilton. Anyone who shows up to buy tickets after 11am that day will be turned away.
With over 1,900 applications, we could be looking at eight hours or more of pulling pieces of paper out of a bucket.
The whole thing will be webcast for people who, like me, have nothing better to do with their time.
Opting out of the process is as simple as not buying a ticket, but there’ll be a secondary draw to determine the prioritization of opted-out applications.
Applications for internationalized domain names will be drawn first, followed by non-IDNs, followed by opted-out IDNs, followed by opted-out non-IDNs.
Why is this lottery so important?
For many applicants it’s going to determine their time to market, which could mean the difference between launching into a market eager for new real estate and launching into one jaded by flops.
In some cases a good draw number could be worth millions. But unfortunately for applicants, they won’t be able to trade their tickets or prioritization slots.