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Overlords of the Gawker empire may pay a pittance to writers, but they're willing to splurge for tips and contests. They've paid handsomely (or at least attractively) for weird celebrity hairstyle photos, Christmas horror stories, predictions of Conde Nast closings, photo captions, and more.

Now, to get a jump on competitors slavering for a peek at the much-hyped Apple tablet (which inspired passionate debate here, here and here), a Gawker blog is offering to pay through the nose for a pre-release glimpse: $10,000 for "bona fide pictures" all the way up to $100,000 "to let us play with one for an hour."

Given Apple's militant privacy and the size of the prize, do they really to expect to get the most-coveted leak in consumer technology, or is it--like many of the proliferating Gawker prizes--simply a stunt? Whether they expect a tip or not, the company's long, legalistic "Contest Rules" suggest that if anyone comes through with a solid lead, Gawker will be on the hook for the prize.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.