Those wishing to enter the lottery can go to Recreation.gov or call 877-444-6777.
If you enter the lottery, you’ll find out on Nov. 4 if you got tickets.
The lighting of the tree is an annual Washington tradition that includes live music performances. The tradition dates to 1923, when President Calvin Coolidge presided over the first event.
There is another Christmas tree lighting in the District on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.
This year’s tree on the Capitol grounds will come from the Carson National Forest in northern New Mexico. Typically, residents of a local community near the tree’s origin make handmade ornaments and participate in events at 25 stops as the tree travels to Washington.
This year the U.S. Forest Service has to get an exception to cut down the Christmas tree for the Capitol grounds because of a ban across all New Mexico national forests. The ban was put in place after a 2013 lawsuit from environmentalists against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Forest Service. The suit criticized the agencies for not tracking a Mexican spotted owl that they said was in danger for decades.
According to a spokesperson with the Forest Service, officials at the agency’s Southwestern Division are “working diligently to seek clarity from the court” on the removal of the tree from the Carson National Forest. Babete Anderson, the spokesperson, said in an email that “we are confident that this matter will be resolved prior to the tree cutting ceremony,” which is planned for Nov. 6.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said officials planned to bring the National Christmas Tree from Carson National Forest. The National Christmas Tree lives on the Ellipse. The tree from Carson National Forest is planned for the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.