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 are likely to cost.

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.

You can enter the lottery here.

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 doesn't last long. After opening on 13 March, you have until 10am PT on 22 March to apply.

Even if you miss the lottery, or register but fail to win, you may still be able to get a ticket - we'll cover your options in a later section.

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

Generally speaking, 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."

How to get WWDC 2018 tickets: Ticket lottery closed

How much do WWDC 2018 tickets cost?

Even if your name is drawn in the ticket lottery, you'll still have to pay to attend WWDC.

Tickets to WWDC 2017 cost $1,599, which is the same as the previous two years (that's around £1,150 at current exchange rates.)

Can I still get a WWDC ticket even if I don't win the lottery?

Possibly. You might get the chance to buy an unclaimed ticket.

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'.

WWDC Scholarship Program

In addition to the tickets issued to Developers, Apple also offers students the chance to win a free ticket to WWDC through the WWDC Scholarships program.

In the past, to apply for the scholarship, students had to create an app to submit to Apple. "This is your chance to showcase your talent with a thoughtful, engaging, well-made app," wrote Apple on its WWDC student web page. "The content of your app should highlight development projects you've worked on, your educational and professional background, technical skills and interests."

How to get WWDC 2018 tickets: Student scholarships

Like the main ticket lottery, submissions for the 2017 scholarships opened on 27 March. To be eligible, you must be 13 or older, registered as an Apple developer and enrolled (part-time or full-time) in educational, or be a member or alumnus of a STEM organisation.

Scholarships programs are judged on the strength of each applicant's uploaded Swift playground. "Create a visually interactive scene in a Swift playground that can be experienced within three minutes," advises Apple. "Be creative."

You will also need to tell Apple a little about yourself, and describe the features and technologies used in the submitted playground, in 500 words or less.

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