This Man Bought Google For $12
Ever imagined that you owned the world’s most popular website? This man did – for a few minutes…
Sanmay Ved, a student at Babson College, stumbled across something remarkable in the wee hours of September 29, 2015. As he was browsing through domains he found that Google.com was for sale for $12… Seriously.
You can read his full account of the events that happened early that morning on his LinkedIn page where Mr. Ved writes:
A strange thing happened at 1:20 AM Eastern Time on Tuesday, September 29. I was learning more about the Google Domains interface, and typed google.com and clicked search domains. To my surprise, Google.com was showing as available!
So Mr. Ved did what any domain curious person would do and added the most popular website in the world to his shopping cart and purchased Google.com for $12. His credit card was billed and he received a confirmation page. The best part of this story is that he bought the domain through Google Domains (domains.google.com).
As soon as Mr. Ved completed the purchase of his new domain, he began to receive emails intended for the owner of Google.com (Google the company, not Mr. Ved). He checked the status of his domain accounts and could see that Google.com had been transferred to his account. He actually owned the domain!
This is the time when you would expect to wake up and realize that this was all a dream, but that’s not what happened! Instead, he checked every Google site he could think of for Google subdomains, and he owned them too.
Sanmay Ved isn’t sure how or why this happened, but he guesses that “maybe because I love Google to heart, and because I have always been a loyal Googler and Xoogler, reporting several vulnerabilities in the past which had gone unnoticed, some divine force decided to give me ownership for a minute or so.”. Whatever the reason, Mr. Ved did his responsible Google lover’s duty and reported the incident to Google Security to be investigated.
A few weeks after the incident Google Security contacted Mr. Ved and offered him a reward for alerting them to the mix-up. Mr. Ved asked that the reward money be given to the Art of Living India Foundation. Google agreed to donate the money and have also since doubled the amount in a gesture of goodwill.
Google has declined to respond to questions concerning the incident and the reason that the domain was available for purchase is unknown. Whatever happened, be an expired domain or a glitch in the system, it makes for a great story! How many people can honestly say that they owned Google.com for a few minutes?
This exciting tale also serves as a great reminder for all of us to take note of our domain renewal dates. If you aren’t sure when your domain is due for renewal, log into your CHI account and sign up for auto-renew to prevent domain registration mishaps.
What would you do if you owned Google for a day? Let us know on Twitter @Midphase