Remember Sanmay Ved, the guy who bought Google.com for $12 and kept it for 60 seconds before Google noticed? Well, the tech behemoth paid him in big bucks for it and even doubled the reward upon hearing that he intended to donate the money to The Art of Living India, a charitable organization involved in educating and transforming the lives of the underprivileged.
So what did the enterprising young man earn in exchange for his $12 ‘short term’ investment? Apparently, Google initially offered him a sum of 6006.13 dollars (the number spells the company’s name, if you squint and read it). When Ved generously asked for the money to be donated to the aforementioned charity instead, Google doubled the reward amount before giving it to the foundation.
Ved was browsing through the Google Domains marketplace in late 2015 when he came upon Google.com being available for grabs. He instantly bought it for $12, and later posted blow-by-blow details of the transaction process. After realizing the mistake, Google managed to have the purchase canceled within 1 minute. So technically, no money was owed to Ved apart from the $12.
It’s not clear whether the license for the domain name had expired or if a bug in the system had allowed Ved to own the most trafficked website in the world for a whole glorious minute. But Google does reward individuals who find glitches in its systems. The company’s 2015 Security Reward program paid more than $2 million in total to researchers for their various contributions.
In December last month, it revealed a budget of $1 million dedicated to security research relevant to Google Drive. The largest reward that has been given to a researcher since June 2015 is $37,500 for work related to Android security.