For a very short time, Sanmay Ved owned Google.com.
He didn’t actually own the monolithic search engine and technology giant, but thanks to an oversight on the company’s part, he owned the company’s web domain, for about a minute.
As he explained on LinkedIn, Ved (who’s currently getting his MBA at Babson College) had been keeping an eye on Google-related domain names for some time, because he formerly worked for the company. He was browsing sites for sale on the company’s own domain-purchasing service on Sept. 29, when he noticed that Google.com was available, so he bought it. For $12.
Ved’s confirmation email rolled in quickly, and was almost immediately followed by messages aimed at Google’s admin team. Google quickly noticed the error and refunded his $12.
As a reward for finding the error, Ved was given a “bug bounty” by Google, which he donated to an Indian educational foundation called The Art of Living India. When the tech giant found out about his generosity, they doubled the reward. (Ved declined announcing the actual sum, but revealed it was over $10,000.)
“I don’t care about the money,” Ved told Business Insider. “It was never about the money.”