The first person to download the 10 billionth application, or submit the first free entry after the 9,999,999,999th download (more on that in a second), will win a $10,000 gift card to the iTunes store. We’ll consider that victory marginally better than the free balloons you get when you’re the millionth shopper at your local market.

It’s absolutely absurd to consider that in the span of only two and a half years (the App Store launched on July 10, 2008) there are more application downloads in a single marketplace than there are people on Earth. Nearly double the amount, in fact. That is, if you consider being shy by two billion a small margin of difference.

Those interested can head to the contest’s page on Apple.com. There you’ll see a scrolling ticker representing how close the world is to seeing that 10 billionth download. Is the ticker an accurate representation of the actual apps downloaded? Probably not. One would assume that Apple took the time to figure out how many apps are downloaded in a given span of time and then applied that rule to the ticker itself. But why is that important?

It’s only important if you plan on using the no purchase necessary form of entry. For those that don’t want to download the 10 billionth app or, alternatively, even for those that don’t have an iOS device, you can simply enter using this form within the contest page. You can do so 25 times a day. Obviously, it’s not fair to let non-purchasing folk walk away with the prize by just entering a bunch of times. So, the factor that contributes to the entrants eligibility is the timing of said entry.

The gift card will go to either the person that downloads the 10 billionth app or the person that uses the entry form immediately after the 9,999,999,999th download, whichever comes first.

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