Investigation: People Score Free Tickets to See Pope Francis, Then Scalp Them for Hundreds of Dollars
It's a historic event -- Pope Francis’ visit to the United States. But if you're hoping to catch a glimpse of the Pope, you're going to need a ticket.
To make the selection process as fair as possible, the church held a lottery offering free tickets. So imagine our surprise when we found ads on Craigslist offering for sale those free tickets to see the pope, some for more than $1000.
INSIDE EDITION decided to investigate and met with one ticket seller who was asking $100 for two tickets. Our producer Joe Enoch wore a hidden camera to the rendezvous at a Starbucks near Wall Street.
Enoch asked: “How did you get the tickets?”
“I won the lottery,” he said.
INSIDE EDITION’s Steven Fabian was waiting to have a chat with him outside.
“Why are you profiting off the pope?” Fabian asked.
The guy replied: “No comment.”
Another seller offered two tickets to see the Pope in Central Park in New York City. His ad called it a "once in a lifetime opportunity.”
He wanted a whopping $750 for two supposedly free tickets.
Fabian asked him: “Do you think it's ok to try and make money off the pope coming here to visit America?”
He replied: “Sure.”
“Why is that okay?” Fabian then asked.
“Well, I wasn't going to until I broke my front tooth and now I need the money to fix that,” he said.
A third guy charged us $600 for two Central Park tickets.
“Why are you profiting off the pope's visit?” Fabian asked as the guy walked away. “Those tickets are supposed to be free and you just sold them for $600.”
Moments later he apparently saw the light and sent our producer a text message expressing regret: "I will return the money or donate to a charity of your choice."
Selling those tickets isn't illegal - but some say those scalpers may have to answer to a higher authority.
“Everything about Pope Francis is free,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan told CBS This Morning. “Everything about Pope Francis is gracious and inviting. He would cringe if he thought anyone had to pay to see him.”
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