The Toyota Prius is the quintessential hybrid vehicle, with an instantly recognizable shape and a place in history confirmed by the South Park "Smug" episode.

It seems like it's been with us forever, but in fact, Toyota only sold its very first 2000 Prius in the U.S. just 10 years ago.

To celebrate that anniversary--not to mention draw attention to the new third-generation 2010 Toyota Prius--the company is sponsoring a contest to find "the most passionate Prius fan" across the U.S. (which, oddly, it defines as the 48 continental states).

How, you may ask, will Toyota know who's most passionate? Well, it says you're a "fuel-efficient hyper-miler, an eco-warrior, or [a] tech-savvy gadget guru." Oh, and you volunteer in your community as well.

2010 Toyota Prius

2010 Toyota Prius

So how do you jump up and down and wave your hand in the air? At the moment, do nothing more than visit the Toyota Prius Facebook page and "like" it. Toyota will get back to you about how you'll submit a video or "several photos" that demonstrate your Prius passion.

The top prize is a chance to host an official "10 Years of Toyota Prius Anniversary Celebration" in your town. Toyota will pick 10 finalists, and leave it to the Prius community to choose the single most passionate contender. (Can you say 'vote-rigging'?)

Here's the calendar:

  • Jul 28-Aug 13: Submission of photo or video entries
  • Aug 18-27: Users vote for a winner from the 10 finalists
  • Aug 31: Winner announced
  • Oct 10: Winner hosts "10 Years of Toyota Prius" celebration (on 10.10.10, get it?)

For those of you without Facebook accounts? Unclear.