Last week, we told you that a former Google employee managed to buy the Google.com domain name via Google’s own Domains service. While Sanmay Ved may have only owned the world’s most-visited domain for just a minute or two before the Mountain View company caught on and cancelled the transaction, it appears at least some good came of this story.
Once Google acknowledged the mistake, they rewarded Ved with some unknown sum of cash — but the company decided to double the reward when Ved generously suggested it go to charity instead…
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“I don’t care about the money, ” Ved told Business Insider in an interview. “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.”
Ved apparently chose to donate his reward to an Indian foundation called “The Art of Living India” that focuses on bringing education to poorer areas of the country. He wouldn’t say exactly how much Google had awarded him — or, more accurately, the charity — but he did say that the amount was north of $10,000. That’s a lot for a few clicks.
This amount isn’t exactly surprising considering that Google routinely rewards “white hat” hackers (the term for hackers that expose vulnerabilities for good) with amounts ranging from $100 to $20,000.
In the end, an innocent and curious search on Google Domains led to thousands of dollars to further education in India. Not a bad ending. Google made sure that no one else could buy its precious domain, Ved got to set an example for white hat hackers everywhere, and a decent sum of cash went to charity. The only better ending would have been Google actually losing its namesake domain, but of course that was never going to happen.