(Update: reward goes to charity) Meet the man who owned Google.com for one minute

by: John DyeOctober 2, 2015


Update: Google has granted Sanmay Ved a generous reward for the discovery of the bug in its Domains service. In a heart-warming twist, Ved said he would donate the money (“over $10,000”) to a charity.

Former Google employee Sanmay Ved bought Google.com for $12 on September 29, 2015. He owned the domain for a full minute before somebody somewhere realized this probably wasn’t supposed to happen and revoked Ved’s backstage access.

No, this isn’t an Onion article, it apparently actually happened.

Ved said that he was up late browsing Google Domains, which is Google’s website buying service. While there, he saw that Google.com was available for purchase at the incredibly reasonable price of $12. Long-time readers may recall that Google.com is the most heavily trafficked domain in the world and is kind of a big deal.

“I thought it was some error,” said Ved, “but I could actually complete check out.”

Ved added Google.com to his shopping cart, completed the checkout process, and for all intents and purposes became the proud new owner of the internet as we know it. Rather than getting the usual email notifying him that he had completed a purchase, Ved’s Google Search Console dashboard was updated, and he began receiving messages intended for the Google.com domain owner. He also began receiving emails with internal information, which Ved says he later turned over to Google’s security team.

“The scary part was I had access to the webmaster controls for a minute,” said Ved.

He took a rapid series of screenshots and documented his whole experience on a LinkedIn post.

Ved’s tenure as God of the Internet was fleeting, however. Google Domains reversed the sale about a minute after the purchase went through and sent him a message that claimed someone had registered the site before he could. Ved was refunded the $12 the domain had cost him and went back to being mortal. However, if only for a moment, Ved flew.

“So for one minute I had access,” said Ved. “I can’t shake that feeling that I actually owned Google.com.”

  • Mohammed Taher

    Looks like he was a very lucky man !!! But just for one minute .

    • Dean

      Still lucky

  • mcdonsco


  • Kanoosh

    the one minute man .. i smell a trilogy in the making , directed by peter jackson.

    • Matthew Wypyszinski

      sounds more like a porn to me, and a bad one at that

  • clayton

    He should be able to sue cause he legally bought it

    • Izzat Faidhi

      Goods sold are not refundable policy can be handy for once.

  • Arman

    He should try to claim the profit the site made in 1 minute, might be enough for early retirement, just saying!

    • Rouvel Cueno

      According to a 2014 article from Gizmodo, Google makes around $23,509 in profits every minute. A fraction of that may be from Google.com. Could just be enough to buy a small car or a pro level DSLR. :D

  • apolloa

    I would have kept it and said to Google you want it you pay big for it. He made a legal purchase as far as I can tell.

    • Matthew Wypyszinski

      the most he could have done is reported google to the government lol, the name wasnt for sale since someone else owned it already.

  • Karly Johnston

    Google is so secure it can be bought for $12.

    • Florence Cunningham

      last tuesday I got a top of the range Honda from earning $16020 this last four weeks and also ten-k last-month . this is definitely the coolest work I have ever done . Without any question it’s the most financially rewarding Ive had . I started this 4 months ago & practicaIIy straight away began to bring home over $97 p/h .Visit weblink to start immediately.
      ➤➤➤➤ http://GoogleExtraPayingTopJobsAlfaEmploymentProjects/Get/Start/Today… ✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱

    • Tertius Geldenhuys

      lol, @Karly, you made my day!

      • Google Jobs:::Earn $97/hour

        Last tuesday I got a top of the McLaren F1 from earning $16020 this last four weeks and also 15-k last-month . this is definitely the coolest work I have ever done . Without any question it’s the most financially rewarding Ive had . I started this 4 months ago & practicaIIy straight away began to bring home over $97 p/h .Visit weblink to start immediately.
        ➤➤➤➤ http://GoogleSuperPayingTopJobsSelfEmploymentProjects/Get/Start/Today… ✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱

    • Josh Gilman

      Author: Stephan Hughson

      Senior Systems Engineer at Manukau Institute of Technology

      “Sorry, but this is a misleading article and you are mistaken. You never owned google.com, it just showed as available for registration. Your card was refunded because the domain was actually not available for registration, not because you owned it briefly and they realised. You can’t buy a domain that is already in use and locked, you can only attempt to initiate a transfer (which would also fail).”

      Oh please. People write about anything without getting the facts.

      • Karly Johnston

        Oh please, he had access to the webmaster controls so please stop copy and paste comments from people that don’t even read the article.

  • Spruce Cycle

    Internet is as secure as a wet paper bag, get out while u can!

  • Javid Nazim Mammadov

    I’m not so exited about the Google Pay anymore…

  • gamerx

    Nice story!

  • Shawny

    When you’ve been given the power of God but you don’t take advantage of it properly. Good guy Ved.

    • mobilemann


  • King_Android

    Lol @ “Former Google employee”

  • the_intruder
  • s2weden2000

    i owned it once but then i took an arrow to the knee…