The deadline to apply for tickets for the London 2012 Olympic Games was extended into the early hours of this morning after problems struck the website due to a last minute surge in demand.

London 2012 said the deadline was extended by an hour to 1am but the site was reportedly still accepting applications after that time.

Difficulties hit the website for about 20 minutes from 10.30pm on Tuesday, as the clock ticked down to the 11.59pm deadline for the 6.6 million tickets. By 1.30am a spokesman confirmed the site was closed to new applicants and a notice on the site told users that applications for tickets had shut.

The London2012 website displayed a page telling would-be customers: “We’re experiencing high demand. You will be automatically directed to the page requested as soon as it becomes available. Thank you for your patience.”

After a lengthy waiting period the holding page timed out leaving some users with a new page that read simply: “Sorry, we cannot process your request. Please try again later.” Consumers were using the site to register for tickets, which will be allocated later by ballot.

People were limited to a maximum of 20 events each. Prices ranged from £20 to £2,012. They included paying up to £2,012 for the opening ceremony, up to £725 for the 100m athletics final and between £50 and £325 for the track cycling finals.

Applicants will find out whether or not they have secured tickets by June 24.