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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Hitting lottery to see inauguration



TAMPA — Ordinarily, Robin Didden wouldn't find the prospect of cold weather and long lines her idea of a good time.

But Didden is ecstatic that she'll experience just that on Jan. 20 along with millions of others attending Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The nation's inauguration of its 44th president is considered the Super Bowl of political pomp, and Didden is among those in the Tampa Bay area who snared tickets. The Seminole Heights banking project manager got them by writing to the office of her congressional representative, Rep. Kathy Castor, the day after the election.

Didden, 35, thought she was out of luck when Castor's office told her that it had more than 3,000 requests — but only 200 tickets. Castor resorted to a lottery, Didden said. She was astonished to find an e-mail from Castor's office on Dec. 16 with the news that she won two tickets.

"I'm so excited that I'm getting this opportunity," she said. "This is my chance to see history firsthand."

Let's Talk: Are you going to the inauguration? Let us know.

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 3:11pm]


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