The Washington Times - November 10, 2011, 01:17PM

The lottery winners for the 17,000 tickets to see the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on the Ellipse were announced Thursday.

The lighting is traditionally dating back to 1923 and includes an invitation for the first family to participate. The Obama family is expected to take part in this year’s Dec. 1 event.


The online lottery is conducted by the National Park Service and typically attracts applicants from across the country. There were 3,000 seated and 14,000 standing-room-only tickets issued.

The lighting kicks off a month of holiday event on the Ellipse, behind the White House, including viewings of the tree — a Colorado spruce — and 56 smaller ones representing states and territories decorated by their respective residents. There is also a Yule log fire, train display and Nativity scene.

Ticket applicants can check their request status online or through the National Park Service call center. Tickets will be mailed Nov. 14.

The Capitol Christmas Tree lighting ceremony is set to take place Dec. 6 at the West Front of the Capitol along First Street Northwest. House Speaker House John Boehner is scheduled to light the tree.