17
Apr
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The lottery situation with Google I/O this year means nobody is guaranteed entry. Google knows this. And it's Google we're talking about. So they planted a bunch of secret codes you can redeem for a guaranteed I/O ticket. The hunt is already on, and some lucky folks have already won.

Correction: You don't win free tickets, but rather a guaranteed opportunity to buy them.

Good scavenger hunts are tough, and the best ones don't even announce the rules. I had to piece the information together from various tips, by talking to winners, and crawling the web. Thankfully, at least the rules of Fight Club didn't apply here. Phew. So, what do you need to do to win?

It's quite simple, really. What you're after are goo.gl links sitting inconspicuously all over the Google Developers site inside images, text, source code, and even in Google Developers YouTube videos (for example, as a popup hovering on top of the video). Like this one:

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Or this one:

image

Unfortunately, the urls are only good for a single redemption, so chances are that a code you find has already been redeemed. Just keep looking - apparently, Google is adding them all the time.

So, what do you see once you follow such links? It wouldn't be Google if it didn't look like this, sprinkled with humor, 1s and 0s, and cutesy animations:

image image

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As you can see above, the code I tried had already been redeemed. If you win, however, you'll see something like this:

image derek

Image credits: Andrew Butler and Derek Ross

Looks like someone even went as far as creating a GO script that crawls the dev site for new urls. Now that's dedication - give this guy a ticket, Google!

By the way, thanks to this script, we now know that the following codes have already been found and used:

goo.gl/ZV63Cr
goo.gl/1nToQ4
goo.gl/q7wKp8
goo.gl/dDZIsO
goo.gl/R1jVTj
goo.gl/B92rvj
goo.gl/Au49Um
goo.gl/uQvdDQ
goo.gl/KBXDW9
goo.gl/m3uwvU
goo.gl/bhLDq0
goo.gl/gdEknO
goo.gl/8AUTRP
goo.gl/5nz6cg
goo.gl/T3mzjk
goo.gl/5FwCJy
goo.gl/3QGGK0
goo.gl/K6E7l8
goo.gl/xZM9jt
goo.gl/rMFYNX
goo.gl/F3noUV
goo.gl/JYSlLQ
goo.gl/hmgbrW
goo.gl/0gNnSE
goo.gl/Tw6kP9

Remember, guys and gals, the hunt is already on. Can you succeed in winning a ticket? If you find a code, let us know where you ran into it and whether it worked or not (after trying to redeem it first, of course).

Update: As of 12:23pm, the Google Developers Google+ account assured us there were still codes out there, though they may not be as easy to find as before:

image

Thanks, Lucas!

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

    Btw, if you happen to find a code that you aren't going to use, feel free to drop us a line. There are a couple AP staffers that are eagerly trying to head to I/O this year ;)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Cheater!

    • remister

      Good luck guys!

    • Mike Reid

      I note that, Google doesn't allow I/O tickets to be resold.

      BUT, if someone finds a code, they could potentially resell it. I presume Google has a rule against this, but it could be kept quiet.

      AND... I wouldn't be surprised if several fake codes were sold.

    • WORPspeed

      If I find one and give it to you, do you promise to give me the free Google gifts at least?
      I mean cmon, offer some incentive :P

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

        The man paying for the ticket keeps the goods ;)

        However, I will totally give a huge Thank You hug to the donor if I ever meet that person :)

        • WORPspeed

          So what you are actually saying is that you don't want me to look for you? Got it ;)

          Closing all Google Dev tabs now....hugs...yeeegh :P

    • http://mrmcpowned.com mrmcpowned

      Doesn't the I/O site mention emailing them about press tickets?

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

        All of the press tickets have been gone for a while. Besides, I'm going as a developer.

        • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

          We could benefit from AP members covering the I/O from both press and development side of the I/O, huh

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Bwahahaha, Google, you really are the best

  • Mike Loomis

    "You've earned the opportunity to purchase a ticket for Google I/O 2014"

    ?????????? That doesn't sound like winning a free ticket to me.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      You're correct as well, just fixed it.

      • Mike Loomis

        If ever there was a time I wish I was wrong, this would be one of those times. Still, a cool little scavenger hunt by Google. Even though having the codes redeemable for free tickets would be more Google's style.

  • tenaku

    Are these free passes, or just a guaranteed pass if you're willing to pay for it? the second-to-last image says "you've earned the opportunity to purchase a ticket"...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      You're right, fixed.

  • Vardan Nazaretyan

    If they will also be willing to supply me with a free flight ticket from Germany to San Francisco, then, why not, I might try to find codes!

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

    Huge thanks!
    just claimed:
    http://goo.gl/JO9ye8

    • xsirxx

      You claimed the right to go? It didnt actually give you a ticket did it?

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

        yeah, this is just to redeem ordering rights

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    You son of a beeeeech.

    For the curious, these all go to http://io-space-adventure.appspot.com, which isn't a real redemption site.

    • richie97

      LOL That was one of the cruelest jokes I've seen in a while.

    • Tyler

      Arrgh. This is just like the Fallout 4 site all over again. I got my hopes up because I apparently "won".

    • Justin W

      Yeah, that's definitely evil. I like Google's style though - love the redemption process on these.

  • HanhPham

    They're really easy to find guys. I got three for my own group just now (Sorry I couldnt share haha). Just click around the developer page.

    • Arjun Shah

      HI, i am looking for a ticket in return of the price of the ticket. I don't mind paying the amount to get the ticket. Do let me know

      • HanhPham

        I dont quite understand what you're asking.

  • Danny365

    It's more frustrating than looking for #151 Mew on the Google Maps.

    • Jess L

      That was frustrating but I did find him. I'd look for codes if I could afford to go but since I'm still looking for a job and in my last semester, I'm broke as a joke.

  • http://bitly.com/company-s Emily Robins

    respectively, whereas analysts had estimated $15.5 billion in revenues with EPS http://j.mp/googl-news-analysis

  • WORPspeed

    Finding mew in Google maps was much easier....just saying

  • Simon

    Got mine, it was on the Android Studio 0.55 page on Android Tools, and it wasn't used yet...

  • ForTheWin

    There's one out on https://developers.google.com/cast/docs/receiver_apps
    Backwards in the image. I'm not using it.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      Arg, I was on that page like 20 minutes ago and it wasn't there

      • Justin W

        It seems like they have someone constantly updating these.... Good luck!

  • http://twitter.com/jameshartig James Hartig

    Thanks for the shoutout! I actually managed to find one with that GO script I wrote. I'll keep updating the script with new used links for other people to ignore.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      Is that still coming up with anything new? I've been running it for a few hours without any luck.

      • http://twitter.com/jameshartig James Hartig

        It did a few hours ago. Google said they're updating the links in waves and removing the used ones. I assume they're only going to do that once/twice per day. Maybe try more tomorrow morning/afternoon. I managed to get a bunch more around 4pm EDT today if that helps.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

          Thanks, I'll keep at it. I had a feeling there weren't very many going out at a time, but twice now I've seen where I hit a page and somebody else found a code there not long after I already had looked.

          • Andrew Allen

            I'll start searching. I'm in England, and also unable to go so any I find will be shot your way.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

            Thanks for the offer, but I've got a feeling the game is probably over. The registration window closed a couple of hours ago and I've got a feeling there won't any fresh codes going up after this. With some luck, the drawing will come out in my favor. ;)

      • http://twitter.com/jameshartig James Hartig

        Just updated the script to support searching through youtube annotations. Hopefully that helps!

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

          Awesome work, thanks!

          This stuff is out of my wheelhouse. I'll have to brush up on it for next year in case Google does this again.

  • Roberto Viti

    Btw big G, i want to tell you that you ruined my night (Italy)...

  • http://twitter.com/jameshartig James Hartig

    We're up to 64 links on it. Going to be hard for @archon810:disqus to keep this post updated all the time as people are posting more.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Very nice. I'm not going to keep the post updated though. People can go see the script source for the latest version.

  • hamsteyr
    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      Congratulations!

      I'm still hunting -___-

  • Alex Vainshtein

    I found 50 codes since yesterday, all of them are used.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      Likewise. i'm fairly sure I'll just have to hope for good luck in the random selection.

      • Alex Vainshtein

        I have no faith in random selection

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

          Welp, I'm on a slow Internet connection and any time I haven't been working on the teardown (just posted) was still spent code hunting. At this point, I think I've got to call off the hunt and rely on luck (which is rarely good for me). Worst case scenario, I'll be watching I/O from the sidelines.

          I'm going to grab some sleep, work on the next teardown, and then go on a date tonight. Things could be worse :)

  • Bill

    I found what has to be a secret code embedded in an image, but when I enter it in I get a 404 page not found error. It's not a code that I've found as already being found. Has Google planted fake codes as well?

    • andyhally

      Had the same issue, but one letter was lowercase when I first it as uppercase. Try all the combinations you think the letters contain. But, they might expire in a hour, when the registration request window closes.

  • andyhally

    Thanks for the tip man! Found one, and see you in SF!