Anticipation is building ahead of this summer's WWDC 2019, the company's week-long developer conference, which will be held 3-7 June in San Jose, California. Tickets to the event are distributed by a lottery, although even lottery winners have to pay to attend.

In this article we explain how to get WWDC tickets, how the lottery works, and how much tickets 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.

(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 adopted a new approach that it hoped would be fairer.)

The ticket lottery for WWDC 2019 has now opened, and developers can register here. It will remain open until 5pm PDT on 20 March, which is midnight for those of us in the UK.

Note that even if you miss out in the lottery, you can get into WWDC via the Scholarship programme, or by purchasing an unclaimed ticket.

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

Apple chooses successful applicants completely at random, and emails them within a day or so of registration closing. Unsuccessful 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 2019.

"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."

Hopefully you'll receive an email with a rather more positive message.

WWDC 2019 Scholarships

How to get WWDC 2019 tickets: Scholarships

In addition to developer tickets, 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 WWDC," the company says on its scholarships web page.

Submissions for the 2019 scholarships are open now and will remain open until 24 March at 5pm PDT or midnight in the UK.

To be eligible, you need 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 have to create "a Swift playground to showcase your ingenuity, and answer a few questions with written responses". Submissions will be judged on the technical accomplishment and creativity of each applicant's playground.

Last year it was reported that scholarship winners started to be notified around 23 Apr. To find out more about Apple's WWDC Scholarships, click here. And for advice on getting started, see How to use Swift Playgrounds.

Unclaimed tickets

If you don't win in the ticket lottery or scholarship programme there's still one other way you can attend.

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'.

WWDC ticket price

Those with WWDC Scholarships get to attend WWDC for free, but ticket lottery winners have to pay.

Apple has kept the same price for WWDC 2019 tickets as it has done for the past three years. They are $1,599 (around £1,200 at current exchange rates).