Adam Gabbatt in New York
guardian.co.uk, Monday 7 January 2013 17.29 GMT
The process for admitting the public into the re-inauguration of President Barack Obama has been thrown into confusion after the agency handling the sale released tickets a day early, angering hopefuls who missed out.
Ticketmaster, on behalf of the organising committee, sent an email late on Sunday night to people who had signed up for updates on the inauguration ball, parade and other events, and declared the sale open.
The second email read: "During testing of our email system tonight, you may have inadvertently received an invitation to purchase tickets for 2013 inauguration events, including the Inaugural Ball or the Inaugural Parade.
"Public tickets to these events were originally scheduled to go on sale tomorrow morning – you received the email tonight in error, and Ticketmaster takes responsibility for this mistake.