In case you missed it, a man named Sanmay Ved recently bought and owned the web domain "Google.com" ... for about a minute. According to Biz Carson in Business Insider, Ved was up late one night trawling Google Domains, Google's website-buying program, when he noticed that Google.com was available for him to purchase. And for twelve bucks, he did.
He didn't have it for very long, of course. Once someone realized what happened, a minute or so later, the sale was reversed and Ved's money was refunded. But for that one hot minute, he had administrative access to Google.com. In interviews Ved seems pretty chill about the whole thing, which is surprising because I would assume the average person with that kind of access would quickly go mad with power.
But Ved seems more amused than anything else. A former Googler himself who left the company to get his MBA, he seems just delighted by the whole thing, saying "At least I can now say I'm the man who owned Google.com for a minute."
So while this at first just seemed like a fun little story, it has an even happier ending. In Carson's update of the story, we learn that Ved used the opportunity to donate to charity, and got Google to do so as well.
Google has a policy of rewarding those who find security gaps and problems in Google's various systems as a way of reducing vulnerabilities and protecting itself. When Ved said that the money didn't matter and that he would have donated the money to charity anyway, Google did him one better, and decided to join in on the philanthropy.
Ved donated his reward (the exact amount of which he didn't disclose but stated that it was more than $10K) to an Indian foundation dedicated to bringing education to slums. Google doubled that amount, and donated it to The Art of Living - India.
"I don't care about the money, " Ved told Carson. "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."