Anticipation is building ahead of this summer's WWDC 2018, the company's week-long developer conference, which will be held 4-8 June in San Jose, California. The ticket lottery is now open for developers, who are selected at random to attend. In this article we explain how to get WWDC tickets, how the lottery works, and how much tickets cost.

UPDATE: WWDC is happening right now! You can follow it with our live blog by clicking here.

The WWDC ticket lottery

Tickets to WWDC are distributed by lottery, but be warned that you still have to pay for the ticket if you win, and it's pretty expensive.

(Why a lottery? Back in 2012, all 5,000 WWDC tickets sold out within two hours of being released, and in 2013 it took just two minutes; many developers who missed out were far from happy. So, in 2014, Apple took a completely different approach.)

The ticket lottery, which you enter here, has now closed! It opened on 13 March, and you only had until 10am PT on 22 March to apply.

But don't worry. Even if you missed out in the lottery, there are still two ways to get into WWDC - we'll cover your options in a later section.

How do I know if I've won a ticket?

Apple emails lottery winners within a day or so of registration closing. Unsuccessful lottery hopefuls should expect an email from Apple that reads something like this:

"Dear Developer. Thank you for registering for the random selection process to attend WWDC 2018.

"Unfortunately, you were not selected to purchase a ticket. However, you can still take advantage of great WWDC content. We'll be posting session videos, slides, and sample code throughout the week for all Registered Apple Developers.

"We appreciate your support. Best regards, Apple Developer Program Support."

WWDC Scholarships

In addition to the tickets issued to developers, Apple also offers students and schoolchildren the chance to win a free ticket to the conference through the WWDC Scholarships scheme. "Your talent and enthusiasm could take you all the way to WWDC18," the company says on its scholarships web page.

How to get WWDC 2018 tickets: Student scholarships

Submissions for the 2018 scholarships were open from 26 March to 1 April. To be eligible, you had to be 13 or older, registered as an Apple developer (which is free), and enrolled part-time or full-time in education or a member of an organisation that promotes the learning of science, technology, engineering or maths outside the standard school curriculum.

Most importantly, you had to create "an interactive scene in a Swift playground that can be experienced within three minutes". Submissions were judged on the technical accomplishment and creativity of each applicant's playground.

Scholarship entries have now closed, and on 23 Apr it was reported that Apple had begun notifying the winners.

To find out more about Apple's WWDC Scholarships, click here. And for advice on getting started, see How to use Swift Playgrounds.

Can I still get a ticket?

At this point it's a push, but even if you didn't win in the ticket lottery or scholarship programme there's still one other way you can attend.

Unclaimed tickets

You might get the chance to buy an unclaimed ticket, so you should regularly check your inbox, and Apple's WWDC microsite for updates.

If you were offered a ticket back in 2014, you needed to pay $1,599 (around £960) for the ticket by 15 April at 1am UK time. But some lottery winners didn't bother, and it was reported that some developers who'd missed out were offered the chance of buying an unclaimed ticket. It's even possible that some second-chance offers will be left unclaimed, opening up the opportunity for a 'round three'.

How much do WWDC 2018 tickets cost?

Scholars get to attend WWDC for free, but ticket lottery winners have to pay. Tickets to WWDC 2018 cost $1,599, which is the same as the previous two years (that's around £1,150 at current exchange rates.)