More than 50,000 people have placed orders over the Internet since the seven million tickets for the 2008 Olympic Games were put on sale Sunday, organizers said.
"By Monday noon, more than 50,000 people have placed orders for about 250,000 tickets through our official ticketing website (www.tickets.beijing2008.cn)," Rong Jun, head of the Olympic Ticketing Center, told Xinhua.
In a country with a population of 1.3 billion, many believe that only the luckiest have chance of watching the Games, though three-quarters of tickets will be reserved for domestic sales.
"My wife and I want to buy two tickets to the opening ceremony, but we think the chance is almost zero," said Hao Zhiping, a retired government official.
In contrast to the overwhelming purchasing enthusiasm on the internet, however, the 1,000 designated Bank of China branches received much less orders.
"A lot of people came to consult us on how to buy Olympic tickets, but only a few have placed orders," said a manager at the Pinganli branch of BOC.
In the first phase of ticket sales, people can wait until June 30 to place their orders and tickets will be assigned between July and August. For oversubscribed events, a random computerized selection process will be used.
The second leg of domestic sales will kick off in October and run through December.