What Google Paid The Man Who For One Minute Owned Google.com
Tempted to brag about the greatest online shopping deal you’ve ever found? It probably won’t come close to the bargain Sanmay Ved scored in October 2015. The researcher managed to buy Google.com on Google Domains when he saw it listed for $12. While he only owned it for a total of one minute, it was a worthy investment. Google revealed this week that Ved was paid about $6000 because of the mix-up.
When Ved first snatched up the iconic domain, Google almost immediately canceled the transaction and awarded him money for his troubles. But the amount and exact circumstances were previously undisclosed. This week, the company announced on its blog that Ved’s payout of $6006.13—a number the company says spells out “Google” if you “squint a little” while reading it—was a part of its Vulnerability Rewards Program. Since its launch in 2010, the program has awarded more than $6 million to researchers around the world who found “vulnerabilities” in the site’s security.
“Rewarding security researchers for their hard work benefits everyone,” Google wrote in the blog post. “These financial rewards help make our services, and the web as a whole, safer and more secure.”
Ved’s prize wasn’t the program’s biggest payout in 2015 (that honor goes to a single payment of $37,500 awarded to an Android security researcher), but it will have a big impact. When Ved decided to donate the money to charity, Business Insider reports, Google offered him another reward: The company doubled the payment, turning his original $12 purchase into a good deed worth $12,012.26.