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Google Hands Out $6,006.13 Reward, an Inside Joke

Sanmay Ved actually bought Google.com for $12 in September—for a minute
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2016 6:51 AM CST
Google Hands Out $6,006.13 Reward, an Inside Joke
Google rewarded more than 300 people who pointed out bugs in 2015.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

(Newser) – Google handed out more than $2 million to more than 300 people in 2015 who spotted bugs and security issues, but one award in particular stands out, reports Beta News. The odd sum of $6,006.13 went to Sanmay Ved, a former Google employee and current MBA candidate at Babson College in Massachusetts. Why the weird amount? It kind of spells "Google" numerically. "Squint a little and you’ll see it!" says Google's Online Security Blog in a post on the 2015 awards. It seems Ved was messing around with the Google Domains interface late one night in September (because don't we all?) when to his surprise the domain name Google.com appeared as available for purchase. For $12. So he found himself buying—with a credit card and all—one of the world's most famous domains.

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His moment of glory was quite literally just that—within a minute Google canceled the transaction, which Google can do because it owns the registration service itself. Ved says he doesn't know exactly what caused the glitch on Google's end, but he details the geekily sordid affair on his LinkedIn account. CNET speculates that Google missed a renewal deadline, and Ved was able to capitalize. A nice footnote: When Ved elected to donate his award to charity—it went to this education foundation—Google doubled it. Microsoft ran into a similar problem back in 2003 but did not immediately cancel the sale of Hotmail.co.uk. Fortunately for Microsoft, the buyer returned it that same day, the Register reported at the time. (Speaking of domains, Google has bought the entire alphabet.)

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