What would you do if you owned the most powerful website on Earth?
Sanmay Ved, a student at Babson College in Massachusetts, faced this very question at the end of September when he reportedly became the owner of Google.com. He claims he paid $12 for it.
"I was hoping I would get an error at sometime saying transaction did not go through, but I was able to complete purchase, and my credit card was actually charged [all sic]!" Ved wrote in a blog post on LinkedIn.
Ved wrote that he'd been checking the availability of Google domains on the company's own tracker, as one does, when he discovered that Google.com was open for purchase. Naturally, he bought it.
Rather than immediately use the domain to display pictures of butts, as we some might have done, Ved claims he alerted Google's security team. The transaction was cancelled after about a minute, Ved wrote, and that was that.
But Google didn't let it go. A company spokeswoman confirmed to The Huffington Post Monday that Ved was offered a reward via Google Security Rewards Programs, which gives cash to people who find vulnerabilities in Google products.
Ved told HuffPost he declined the bounty, asking instead for Google to give the money to the Art of Living India Foundation. In response, Google apparently doubled the reward for the charity.
"I still love the company, and what it does and stand[s] for," Ved, who worked as an account strategist for Google from 2007 to 2012, told HuffPost via a LinkedIn message. "It was very kind of them to offer double the reward since it was going to charity."
Hey, sometimes faceless multinational tech corporations can be pretty swell, huh?