Sundi Rose
October 12, 2015 2:37 pm

Today’s the day that Google got outsmarted by a college student, and then the search engine giant rewarded him big time for doing it.

Sanmay Ved of Babson College in Massachusetts, was busy doing what he routinely does — searching domain names using the Google Tracker — when he realized the site name Google.com available. Like any self-respecting internet user, he snapped it up for a whopping $12 and momentarily owned the domain name, gaining access to the webmaster tools.

Instead of parlaying this stroke of luck into an ill-gotten fortune, Sanmay promptly rang up the Google security team to fill them in on the mistake. In a blog posted on LinkedIn, Sanmay wrote in a note, “I have reported the incident to Google Security. Google has reverted, has acknowledged the incident, and is investigating into the incident.”

Once Google was in on the problem, they quickly revoked Sanmay’s ownership. Google, being Google, offered Sanmay a reward for finding the glitch, as they often do, but Sanmay declined the money. He told Business Insider, “I don’t care about the money. It was never about the money. I also want to set an example that it’s people who want to find bugs that it’s not always about the money.”

And man, did he set an example. Sanmay told Google that they should donate his reward to the charity, Art of Living India Foundation, and that’s when Google decided to double the amount of the reward so the charity would receive even more. Good ol’ Google. 

Sanmay, who worked at the company as an Account Strategist from 2007 -2012 is very loyal, and said in his blog, “I love Google to heart, and because I have always been a loyal Googler and Xoogler, reporting several vulnerabilities in the past which had gone unnoticed, some divine force decided to give me ownership for a minute or so :)”

The actual amount Google donated hasn’t been disclosed, but Sanmay suggested it might be “more than $10,000.” It’s a small amount for a giant tech company like Google, but a huge boost for the charity organization receiving the donation. Nice work, Sanmay. Maybe there’s a job at Google HQ waiting for you in your future. 

(Image via iStock)

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