Sanmay Ved thought his real reward was just being the guy who bought Google.com for a minute. When Google first told him he wouldn’t get any money as a result of the accidental transaction, he said it was fine — he’d rather it be donated to charity anyways.
“I don’t care about the money. It was never about the money,” Ved told Business Insider. “I also want to set an example that it’s people who want to find bugs that it’s not always about the money.”
Google changed its mind after acknowledging that he had managed to buy the domain name and decided to actually double Ved’s reward since he was giving it to charity.
In a stroke of luck, Ved had been searching Google Domains, Google’s website-buying service, when he noticed that Google.com was available for purchase on Sept. 29.
Ved bought the domain for $US12 and, he claims, momentarily gained access to its webmaster tools before Google canceled the sale. An ex-Googler himself (Ved loves Google so much that he has set it as his Facebook profile photo), Ved said it was never about the money or collecting it. Google does routinely reward people who discover hiccups in Google’s system as part of it security vulnerabilities program.
Ved chose to donate his reward to an Indian foundation that focuses on bringing education to the slums. He won’t disclose the amount Google awarded him, only hinting that it’s at least “more than ten thousand.”
Since he’s donating it to charity, Google offered to double the amount that will go to The Art of Living India.
It’s a cause close to the heart of the MBA student at Babson College: “I’m kind of a proponent for education.”