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London Olympics ticket grab ends with website wobbles

'Darling, what's this £926 on my Visa card?'

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Organisers of the London 2012 Olympic Games were forced to extend their ticket application deadline by an hour last night, after last-minute demand from wannabe customers led to delays online.

The website had a few wobbles at around 10.30pm last night, just over an hour before the ticket applications for next year's Games were expected to close.

The www.tickets.london2012.com portal, which launched six weeks ago, warned visitors to the site that it was "experiencing high demand", before adding that users would "be automatically directed to the page requested as soon as it becomes available".

By 11.30pm last night the website appeared to have returned to normal, but organisers decided to extend the ticket application process by one hour with the cut-off point happening at 1am this morning.

The deadline had originally been set for around midnight on 26 April.

Meanwhile, would-be punters have been complaining about the ticketing process, with many crossing their fingers and hoping that the virtual money they've laid out online won't come back to haunt their Visa credit and debit cards.

In an effort to bag tickets for London 2012, some customers decided to apply for many more tickets than they would have done if bought up front.

Due to the lottery nature of the entire ticketing process, some punters could miss out altogether on seeing any events, while others might end up saddled with nasty credit/debit card bills if all of their applications are successful.

Around six million tickets, with prices ranging from £20 to £2,012, were allocated for the 26 sporting events that will take place over 17 days from 27 July 2012. But it's unlikely all the tickets would have sold by this morning's extended deadline.

Olympic fans won't find out if their application for tickets, which organisers of the Games are hoping to raise £500m from, was successful until money is taken from their accounts in May. Each "winning" applicant will find out what tickets they have secured on 24 June.

Meanwhile, ordinary punters who applied for lots of tickets in the hope of seeing some events at London 2012 could end up lumbered with tickets they don't want, or worse still, can't afford.

Lord Sebastian Coe, who is the chairman of the Games, has said that a resale website would be made available at some point next year and customers will be able to get rid of unwanted tickets via that portal.

But - just like the London 2012 ticket application tagline - customers waiting to get their money back will find the whole process is more of a marathon than a sprint. ®

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