Jessica Ellis
January 31, 2016 9:52 am

In today’s crazy stories, the winner of the “only because the Internet exists” category is undoubtedly Sanmay Ved, an MBA Student who kinda-sorta bought Google back in September.

 

A former worker for Google, Ved discovered that the company’s domain name was actually listed for sale in 2015 — for $12. As anyone would, he naturally decided to take a risk and try to buy it. And for about a minute, he succeeded.”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!” Ved wrote in a blog post.

Of course, Google quickly noticed the issue (we’d like to think they got the dreaded “your password is incorrect” message) and quickly decided they should probably keep control of one of the most heavily-trafficked sites in the world, so they had the transaction cancelled.

You’d think the story ends there, with the big honking corporation smacking down the little wily consumer, but the Googs actually did something pretty cool: they offered to pay Sanmay for his timely discovery of the “for sale” sign on their site. In a post on their security news for 2015, Google detailed what happened next. “Our initial financial reward to Sanmay—$ 6,006.13—spelled-out Google, numerically (squint a little and you’ll see it!). We then doubled this amount when Sanmay donated his reward to charity.”

That’s right, the heartless mega-giant corp handed over a cool $12k to Sanmay to donate to the Art of Living India Foundation, a charity that provides free schools for children in poverty-stricken parts of India.

Google’s reward system is actually nothing new; for several years, they’ve provided cash rewards for white-hat hackers and coders that can point out security flaws in their system. It’s a nice way of thanking computer nerds (without actually putting them on salary) and must prove pretty invaluable to the company; according to Time, they gave out more than $2 million in bounties last year for tenacious researchers like Sanmay Ved. But next year, guys, pay your domain renewal fee on time!

Images Via Shutterstock, Twitter

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