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What does "earned $1,000 ... toward a down payment " mean?
(I know what is "down payment" -- A partial payment made at the time of purchase, with the balance to be paid later, but don't know "earn toward...')

Context:

Among those watching was Adam Smith, 14, of Vienna, Va., who has earned $1,000 this summer toward a down payment to a company called Space Adventures, which is taking reservations for future space travel. Smith said he's had an interest in space "as far back as I can remember." He committed to raising the money after finding the company's Web site earlier this year.
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Smith earned $1000, not nearly enough for a down payment on a trip in space. Nevertheless, he will save the $1000 and, as he earns more, he will add to it. He is working toward his goal of having the complete down payment.

OK? Emotion: smile
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Hi Jobb,

The downpayment might be $20,000 (I am making this up) for a $150,000 (again, fictious number) trip. So Adam has worked (probably at a part-time job) and earned $1000 (of the $20,000) needed for his downpayment.

In other words, Adam, "...has earned $1,000 this summer toward a down payment to a company called Space Adventures, which is taking reservations for future space travel."

All the "earned" is saying is that he worked and saved a certain amount.

I hope that helps.

MountainHiker
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