July 6th, 2009
02:42 PM ET
Donte Zierway felt like the luckiest man in the world on Monday after he scored two tickets to the Michael Jackson memorial.
The Buffalo, New York, resident said he had traveled by blind faith to Los Angeles even before registering online for his chance to attend the event.
The aspiring musician said he spent $700 for a plane ticket in anticipation of this being in the city set to mourn the musical legend on Tuesday.
"I would have slept on the street outside of the Staples Center if I had to," Zierway said. "I had to be here."
When he still hadn't received word as to whether he had won tickets, Zierway said he prayed to his mother, Shirley Dean, who was the same age as Jackson when she passed away in October.
Two minutes later, he said, he received email confirmation that he had won.
"I'm so grateful, man," Zierway said over and over.
So grateful that he caught a bus from his hotel and walked 30 minutes in the scorching Los Angeles sun to pick up two tickets and a golden wristband, which will allow him entry into the memorial.
Zierway said he planned to get a haircut and don his best outfit to join other fortunate fans in remembering Jackson.
"This gives me such bragging rights with my friends back home," Vierway said. "I had a friend who was crying on the phone to me when I told her I won. She cried for like half hour in my ear."
– Lisa Respers France, CNN.com writer
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