(WGN-AM)- Esmeralda Montes De Oca had a problem. She had tickets to the Michael Jackson memorial service in Los Angeles Tuesday.

And no way to get there.

When Montes De Oca found a confirmation letter in her inbox Sunday night, she jumped for joy. But the 32-year old Riverside resident's heart sank when she realized the deadline to pick up the tickets was 6 p.m. today -- barely more than 24 hours from when she found out she'd won the lottery.

"I was looking at the airfare and I said, Oh my god, I can't," Montes De Oca said.

But she persisted. This morning she turned to Craigslist for help. Unlike others offering their extra tickets for cash, Montes De Oca said she would give her second ticket to anyone who offered to pay airfare to Los Angeles and hotel rooms for her and a companion -- a rather pricy affair.

But by 4 p.m., she hadn't found any takers and ended her quest.

"At least I can say for the most part I was pretty close to going and happy that I was one of the lucky few who got chosen," she said. "I am sad about not going but I know that his music will always live on."

While some people with tickets were able to make the long distance dash, others were taking another way out: selling their tickets.

But one online auctioneer, eBay, was rebuffing auctions for the tickets.

"It would be inappropriate to allow the sale of tickets for the Michael Jackson memorial service," the company said in a statement. "EBay will not allow Michael Jackson memorial service tickets to be listed on the site. When found, eBay will remove them immediately."

One auction on eBay was listed as having been completed, with a companion ticket selling for just under $10,000. But a later visit to the page showed the listing had been cancelled.

AEG, the company that owns Staples Center, where the service will be held, said a system is in place to prevent tickets from being scalped.

To claim the tickets, recipients must show their online voucher, as well as a valid drivers' license. If the ID doesn't match the information given at the lottery's registration, tickets won't be given out.

If it matches, the fans will have a wristband snapped on, and given a second wristband for their guest and two physical tickets. The system, AEG said, will prevent those with scalped tickets from claiming them -- but selling that second ticket is another story.

"It is true that anyone who has a wristband and receives tickets can invite anyone they want with the second ticket," said AEG spokesman Michael Roth. "So we are hopeful that they have these vouchers because they are a fan and it's meaningful to them and they would also invite someone who it would also be very meaningful to them."

(The Chicago Tribune contributed to this story)

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