A couple things I’ve stood in line overnight for…
1978 Steelers playoff tickets. There were 5000 available for each game for sale to the general public, and each person could buy up to 4. I was about #300 in line. At daybreak, the people in the back started crowding, and at 9AM the ticket windows opened and the entire mass swelled forward. The people at the front had nowhere to go after buying their tickets; they had to be lifted up and passed off to the sides by the next in line. It was a nightmare, I’ll never do that again. The tickets were gone as fast as they could move people through.
In the winter of 1981/2, at the height of stagflation, when interest rates were up around 18%, a bank in Cheswick PA announced that they had $3 million in money to lend at 12.5%. So I waited with my sister, who was buying a house and wanted someone to give her some security. She got the loan. At the time there was no way of knowing whether that would save her money; a few years later she refi’d. But 5.5% over 30 years is potentially a lot of jingle, it was worth waiting in line for it. She gave me $20, if I remember. I tried to refuse, but she knew I was out of work and could use it.