Google paid roughly $12,000 reward last year in a mixup where the Google domain was accidentally sold. Sanmay Ved was the owner of Google.com for approximately one minute last year when he purchased the domain right from under Google’s nose. In an ironic turn of events, Ved was actually an ex-Google employee who had worked for the company for about five years.
His $12 domain investment could have paid off if he had not donated the money to charity. Unlike many others who may not have been able to resist the financial temptation, Ved did not hold the Google domain hostage. The domain name was mistakenly put up for sale in October, and when Google realized the mistake they cancelled the sale and offered a reward.
CNN Money reports that Ved explained that when he saw the Google domain up for sale, he wasn’t intending to turn a profit, but that he was simply curious and didn’t think the sale would actually go through.
Ved talked about his experience in purchasing one of the most popular domains on the internet in a post he wrote for Linkedin.
He said, “I was hoping I would get an error at sometime saying transaction did not go through, but I was able to complete purchase, and my credit card was actually charged! I thought at some point in time it would block me out, but I wanted to see how far it would go.”
In addition to owning the domain for almost one whole minute, the purchase of the Google domain also gave Sanmay Ved full access to webmaster tools for Google.com. Fortunately for Google and Google lovers everywhere, the temporary owner and former employee was still a big fan of the company and had only left Google to pursue his education and get an MBA. This scenario could have played out much worse if a disgruntled ex employee had purchased the Google.com domain and gained access to their wide array of tools and analytics.
Although the would-be Google domain owner never publicly revealed how much Google paid him as a reward to get the domain back, Google itself released the information on the domain slipup, probably because they tried to play it off with a playful reward amount.
According to ABC News, apparently Google offered to pay him $ 6,006.13, which if you look closely and get a bit creative, spells out “google” in numerical form. Instead of accepting the money for himself, Ved donated it to charity. When Google found out the money would be donated to charity, they doubled the amount and ended up donating $12,012.26. The money was subsequently donated to The Art of Living India charity.
This interesting reward amount isn’t the first time Google has made purchases for odd amounts of money. Google once bid $3.14159 billion for Nortel patents, which is the first six digits of pi times one billion. We’re not sure what their fascination with odd purchase prices is, but it’s one way to make headlines.
The reward for the domain sale mishap is part of Google’s larger Vulnerability Reward Program. According to a statement from Google, the program has paid out roughly $2 million to participants and researchers who help them find bugs.
At any rate, we highly doubt this is a mistake Google will be repeating again any time soon, so if you’re hoping to snag Google.com and turn a profit, your ship has likely sailed. At least in this mishap, it turned out well for everyone; a deserving charity got a donation, Ved got to help one of his favorite companies, and Google was able to fix a bug without fighting to get their domain back.
[Photo Credits: Sanmay Ved Linkedin & Getty Images/Adam Berry ]