Ballot announced for 2012 tickets

The scramble to get a seat at what the organisers are billing as the "greatest show on earth" begins on 15 March when a six-week window to buy tickets for the 2012 Olympics opens.

There will be 6.6 million tickets on sale, ranging in price from £20 to £2,012. Tickets will not be issued on a first-come, first-served basis and will be allocated only once the window closes on 26 April. If any of the 650 sessions – the detailed schedule is announced next month – is oversubscribed, then there will be a ballot.

Lord Coe, chairman of the organising committee, said: "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the world's greatest athletes going for gold in the UK."

Tickets for the Paralympics will go on sale in September.

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