CHARLOTTE, N.C. - People from Uptown Charlotte to York County waited in line for hours Thursday morning to get their hands on a ticket to the greatest shot to come to town in 99 years.
Solar eclipse glasses have become the ultimate Golden Ticket as the Carolinas are prime viewing area for Monday's big event.
Discovery Place had a limited number of pairs of glasses available Thursday, and lines were wrapped around the building as people waited for their chance to score a few sets.
Some brought breakfast, others settled in with a good folding chair and a newspaper. Others kept themselves busy by playing games in line.
In York County, the library had 400 pairs of glasses available starting at 9 a.m.. By 9:12, they were sold out, leaving many walking away in disappointment, calling friends to come up with a new plan.
One place that was able to get a large shipment was Palmetto Eye in Rock Hill. The company ordered 6,000 pairs from a vendor in Colorado and had the shipment over-nighted, says one of the owners, Dr. Paul Burt.
"It was pulling teeth to get them," Burt says. The office saw a steady stream of customers Thursday afternoon who reported they could not find the glasses anywhere else. Burt believes at this rate, the supply will be gone by the end of the day Friday.
"The phones are ringing off the hook," he says.
But Burt, an optometrist, is more concerned about the calls he will get Monday evening and Tuesday morning.
"What scares me though are the people that aren't gonna get them that don't have the access," he says. "It could be a recipe for a disaster if people look up at the sun during the eclipse. The retina just burns. I'm sure we're gonna get those calls. I hope we don't get a lot."
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