The Man Who Owned Google for a Full Minute

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Sanmay Ved was browsing through domain names in late September of 2015 when he stumbled upon the unexpected opportunity to purchase “google.com.” Ved, then a previous Google employee and researcher, then purchased the domain name, expecting it to be a fluke, and for the transaction to fail to go through. However, his credit card was charged US$12.00 for the purchase, and a confirmation of the purchase was emailed to him.

Ved then had access to Google’s webmaster tools and notifications for all of one minute, before the error was discovered and he was notified of the wrongful purchase. Google easily reversed the purchase since it owned the service site where Ved bought it, Google Domains.

The error which caused “google.com” to be made available remains a mystery to Bed.

Ved did not sell the domain name back to Google for a high amount, but the tech giant did reward him with US $6006.13, an amount that is supposed to spell “google.” Google usually awards those who find flaws and vulnerabilities in their systems.

Ved refused to keep the money for himself, but chose instead to donate it to The Art of Living India, an educational and humanitarian charity. Ved, a proponent for education, explained in a linked.in blogpost that the charity operates 404 free schools all over India, giving almost 40,000 children in rural and tribal areas access to free education. These schools offer a wholistic education that nurtures the child in mind, body and spirit.

Upon learning this, Google doubled Ved’s reward money.

Netizens, by and large, congratulated Ved on his charitable spirit.

Although there were others who thought Ved should have held out for more money

Still and all, the majority applauded Ved for his lack of greed.