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Olympics Fans Get in Line For Ticket Order Forms

May 1, 1995

ATLANTA (AP) _ Thousands of people turned out Monday, some lining up before dawn, just to get order forms to get into a drawing for tickets to the 1996 Summer Olympics.

``I figure it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance,″ said Gabe Owens, who was among about 150 people standing in line at a grocery in the Atlanta suburbs when the booklets of order forms were released at 6 a.m.

``They told me a lot of people were going to be here, and I didn’t want to miss out,″ he said.

About 36 million brochures were to be distributed at more than 15,000 outlets across the country, including Home Depots and groceries that sell Coca-Cola.

Kroger spokesman Bob Phalen said each of the chain’s 133 Atlanta-area stores distributed 500 to 1,000 brochures per hour.

However, spot checks across the country found that some stores listed as distribution points in Oregon, Indiana, Kentucky and North Carolina did not yet have the brochures available.

``We’ve been getting many calls for them. It’s been generating a lot of excitement,″ said Mark Pygot, manager of a Food Lion in Raleigh, N.C.

Mark Preisinger, a spokesman for The Coca-Cola Co. in Atlanta, said a few areas were not yet distributing the brochures, in some cases because they conflicted with other promotions.

Ticket orders won’t be even confirmed until September.

Mail orders received in the first 60 days will be put in a pool and selected randomly. Those received later will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Telephone and box office sales won’t begin until 1996.

Atlanta Olympic officials have refused to disclose how many tickets are available to prime events such as the opening ceremonies and basketball and gymnastics finals.

Prices range from $6 (plus tax) for an early round baseball game to $636 for the opening and closing ceremonies.

Bill and Kathy Gettys of Albany, N.Y., who picked up order forms at a Home Depot store, said they would take tickets to whatever events are available.

``We’re beggars and we can’t be choosy,″ said Gettys. ``I’d like to just see part of the Olympics.″

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