doodle4googleA Google-themed doodle of your kid’s “best day ever” could win them $30,000.

Google is launching today its annual Doodle 4 Google contest, which invites artistic kiddies to create Google Doodles for the chance to win cash and gadgets, not to mention a spot on the world’s most popular homepage.

This is the sixth year Google has run the competition, and the stakes are sure to be pretty high. Google received 114,000 submissions last year, and the winning entry, which you can see above, came from a 7-year-old from Wisconsin. (Who said Google didn’t like pirates?)

In addition to a $50,000 technology grant for their school, the winner will get a $30,000 college scholarship, a Wacom tablet, and, of course, a Chromebook.

While all that is good for the kids, our more suspicious readers would want to know what Google gets out of all of this. Google’s response is simple: “Doodles are meant to surprise and delight people when they visit the Google homepage. Who better to surprise and delight than talented and creative young artists!,” the company exclaims.

While a combination of Google employes and guest judges (which this year include Katie Couric, ?uestlove, and Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward) decides which entries become finalists, the final word rests with Google executives. Clearly, this whole thing is important enough that it goes all the way to the top.

Google is accepting entries until March 22 and plans to grace its homepage with the winner on May 23.