There is a “business” where people buy domains of places with famous names or of companies that are on the verge of opening, in order to sell them back to the company for large sums of money. In the case of Sanmay Ved, he was in the right place at the right time, but not necessarily for monetary motivations.
Ved is a former employee of Google.com and last month, he managed to buy the Google.com URL via Google Domains for $12. While some would immediately celebrate their new found fortune of “owning” Google, Ved said it was not intentional, according to PC Magazine.
He was flipping through Google Domains and realized that Google.com was available for purchase. Like any other person who stumbled across it, he bought the domain.
“I was hoping I would get an error at sometime saying transaction did not go through,” said Ved. “But I was able to complete [the] purchase, and my credit card was actually charged!
“Quite clearly, ownership had been granted to me,” he added. “Order was successful.”
But the newly owned domain did not last long in his hands. The purchase was nearly immediately followed up by a cancellation email from Google Domains. Ved said that about a week later, he was contacted by Google Security who then offered him a reward “in a very Googley way.”
“I wrote back and told them it was never about the money,” he said.
Since Ved was not after Google’s fortune, he requested that their reward offer be directly donated to the Art of Living India Foundation charity, and Google agreed. They even doubled his reward which was donated to the Art of Living’s education program, a program that runs 404 free schools across 18 states in India.
Ved did not acknowledge publically how much it was that Google rewarded him, but he did jest that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent tour of Google’s Mountain headquarters had something to do with the reward.
“The very next day of his visit, it ended up convincing Google to sell what is perhaps their most prized possession to a person hailing from the small city of Mandvi in the Kutch region … albeit just for a minute or so,” he wrote on LinkedIn.
“Some divine force decided to give me ownership for a minute or so,” Ved said.
“It was never about the money.”