Photo: CNN

Special to Find It In Fondren

St. Andrew’s middle schooler and Fondrenite Charley Hutchison had planned to buy one of 5,000 available tickets to the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference, which starts today, June 10.

Charley, a 13-year-old who will enter the 8th grade this fall and who last year became one of the youngest app developers in Apple history, had saved enough money to pay for the ticket himself, and had his browser pointed to the purchase page when they went on sale. He also commissioned his dad to do the same on his office computer.

It wasn’t enough. The tickets, which are issued only to those who have developed an app for Apple devices, were gone in fewer than two minutes. “I’ve heard estimates that they were gone as quickly as 45 seconds,” Charley said.

Turns out he won’t need a ticket.

Charley received an email May 16 notifying him that he had been awarded one of 150 scholarships Apple gives to student developers across the world. That guarantees his attendance at the conference in San Francisco.

“We thought it was a shot in the dark,” Melissa Hutchison, Charley’s mom, said in an interview Wednesday morning. “We were really surprised, because we told him it would be a good experience but we didn’t really expect him to get it. So now we have a week and a half to get plane tickets to San Francisco.”

Said Charley: “I was very surprised because I don’t know how many (applied for the scholarship) but since it was international I’m guessing a lot of people entered.”

Read more of Charley’s story from Clay Chandler at the Mississippi Business Journal at msbusiness.com.

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