Stephen Hawking's Westminster Burial Opened to Raffle Winners

By Gary Cutlack on at

1,000 lucky members of the public are being offered the opportunity to witness the final movements of Stephen Hawking, as his family and the organisers of his internment have launched a public ballot for tickets to attend his Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey on June 15.

Hawking will disappear into the black hole of the Abbey's walls, where his ashes are to be placed in quite the grand spot between those of Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. There's a web site where would-be visitors can enter their details to win a place at the day's formal service, with the application site suggesting that it might be possible to bring groups of schoolchildren to see one of science's modern greats put to rest.

His daughter Lucy Hawking said: "We are so grateful to Westminster Abbey for offering us the privilege of a service of thanksgiving for the extraordinary life of our father and for giving him such a distinguished final resting place. We are also very pleased to be able to offer tickets to the public so that our father's many admirers will have the chance to join in the service." [Service of Thanksgiving via Independent]