"My wife tried, my daughter tried, none of us were successful. I've been coming up here since JoePa's first game and I wanted to come up," said Joel Bowser of Johnstown.
Patrick Joyce and his family made the trip from Moosic. The big Penn State fans were determined to be at the memorial service.
"I was on with everyone else. I'm sure it was a random selection. I bet they just picked so many out of the pool and we weren't picked. But don't ask, don't get. We're down here because you never know," Joyce said.
Jim Firster drove all the way from Virginia. "Because I'm a fan. I've always liked Joe. I went here and graduated in 1975. I felt I owed it to him," Firster said.
While thousands of ticket holders entered the Bryce Jordan Center there were still a few people standing outside, hoping to get lucky and find someone giving one away.
Doug Sumpman of Lancaster is such a big Joe Paterno fan that he even got a tattoo of his hero on his arm.
"We were told to come up here at 10 a.m. and people that didn't get theirs processed they'd be available, but everyone looked at you like you were crazy," Sumpman said.