The hunt for NFL draft tickets has gone into overtime.
By Thursday’s deadline, 65 percent of fans who won free tickets to this month’s draft through a lottery had claimed their prizes, and NFL officials said unclaimed tickets will be awarded via email next week and at the draft.
Here’s how it will work: Ticket-winners from this week must check in within certain time frames on each day of the draft, to be held at the Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University April 30 through May 2. If they don’t, those tickets go up for grabs again, and some of the 76,000 fans who didn’t win tickets in the first wave will be eligible to get them.
The caveat is that hopefuls must attend Draft Town, the NFL-themed festival at nearby Grant Park, and check in with a QR code through the league’s Fan Mobile Pass, which they registered for online when they entered the lottery. On each day, a few hours before the draft starts, the league will award tickets to new fans and notify them through text messages to their phones as well as a video board at Draft Town.
A league official also said that throughout each day new fans may be granted passes to the theater or the outdoor Selection Square -- and outdoor ticket-holders may be upgraded to theater seats -- if some fans leave the theater or give up their spots at Selection Square.
If you've already won tickets, here are the time frames to check in at the draft using your QR code:
Thursday -- noon to 2 p.m.
Friday -- 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Saturday -- 9-10 a.m.
Tickets that aren't claimed within those windows will be forfeited.
If you've pre-registered and you're hoping to win tickets:
On April 30, fans can check in at Draft Town starting at 4 p.m. and up to the start of the first round at 7 p.m. Their names go into a pool to win forfeited tickets, which will be awarded first-come, first serve. The earlier you check in, the better your odds of getting passes.
The league will use the same process before the draft resumes May 1 and 2.