People in cities across the country started to notice signs being posted as of last Thursday, which challenged them to take part in a task by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, for the chance to win $40,000.
They encouraged mobile phone users to be the first to locate and report the special QR codes that are found throughout the country. The signs with these barcodes were left in prominent public display until Sunday afternoon. In order to qualify for a chance to win the grand prize, individuals (other than federal workers, who are not eligible to take part in this contest) required only an online social network account and a mobile phone.
This unannounced contest was held following the success of the hunt with a similar theme for balloons across the nation, which was designed to show people how they can use social media to help themselves in times of crisis.
In this most recent contest – which was called the Cash for Locating and Identifying QR Codes Quest – will stay open until March 8, giving individuals 11 days after the removal of the barcode displays, in which to submit the codes.
According to the director of the DARPA Defense Sciences Office, Jay Shnitzer, the first person who successfully submits all of the QR codes will be declared the winner. Should all the codes not be found, then it will be the first individual to have submitted the largest number who will receive a prorated amount of the full prize.