Following in its legacy of giving away huge prizes to people who are in the right place at the right time, Apple has announced it will give away a $10,000 iTunes gift card to whomever happens to download the store's 10 billionth app. "As of today, nearly 10 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store worldwide. So we want to say thanks," writes Apple on its official countdown site
As of the morning of January 17, the ticker had reached a little more than 9.8 billion.
Apple also gave away a $10,000 iTunes gift card to the person who downloaded the one billionth iTunes app. That went to a 13-year-old boy from Connecticut.
The App Store side of iTunes went live in July 2008, so assuming the 10 billion event happens soon, that's quite an amazing pace of growth. More than 10 million apps were downloaded in its first weekend and it has only continued to gain traction.
According to online estimates, the 10 billion app milestone should happen sometime on January 23, so everyone with an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch should just keep downloading apps on that day until a winner is declared.