Student Buys Google for $12

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Sanmay Ved, a student at Babson College in Massachusetts, decided to try and purchase Google.com on a whim — and on a small budget — only for the deal to actually pull through.

Ved had been tracking Google-related web domains when he caught of Google.com being available for purchase at the cost of only $12.

Recounting his experience on a LinkedIn blog post, he wrote, “A strange thing happened at 1:20AM 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!”

“I was hoping I would get an error at sometime saying transaction did not go through,” he added, “but I was able to complete purchase, and my credit card was actually charged!”

Following the completion of his purchase, Ved received emails confirming that he had successfully purchased the domain. He also began to receive notifications intended for Google’s own web administration group.

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Despite the successful transaction, Ved received a cancellation message from Google’s buying service which said his $12 had been refunded and that he could not take over the website as someone else had already registered it. Upon searching for the “Google.com” domain once more, it showed as unavailable for purchase.

The entire duration of Ved’s accidental ownership over the website lasted for about a minute.

Ved reports to have been contacted by Google Security and was offered a reward via Google Security Rewards Program. The program offers cash to individuals who find vulnerabilities in Google products.

instead of accepting the monetary reward, Ved requested that Google donate the money to the Art of Living India Foundation. Google complied and decided to double the amount going to charity.

Ved, who worked as an account strategist for Google from 2007 to 2012, told Huffington Post via a LinkedIn message, “I still love the company and what it does and stand[s] for. It was very kind of them to offer double the reward since it was going to charity.”

Screen grabs from Ved’s LinkedIn blog post.

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About the author

Regina is a Fine Arts graduate who expresses herself through various mediums. She finds amusement in pop culture, enjoys video games, and watches way too many YouTube videos on a daily basis.