Domain hunter buys for $12, owns it for 60 seconds

© Francois Lenoir
Bored and looking to make an extra buck, a former Google employee was fortunate enough to purchase the domain for just $12 – and actually managed to get control of it for about 60 seconds before the company realized it was a mistake.

The main domain of the search engine giant, whose market capitalization last year equaled almost $395 billion, was briefly bought by Sanmay Ved, who was casually browsing Google’s website-buying service, when he noticed that one of the world’s most visited domains was available for purchase.

“The domain actually got added to my cart as seen by the green check-box, and the domain appeared in my cart,” Vad wrote of his experience in a LinkedIn post. “I was hoping I would get an error [message] at sometime, saying transaction did not go through, but I was able to complete [the] purchase, and my credit card was actually charged!”

The price was only $12, hardly enough to buy you a lunch in Silicon Valley, where the company is based.

“I used to work at Google so I keep messing around with the product. I type in and to my surprise it showed it as available,” Ved told to Business Insider. “I thought it was some error, but I could actually complete check out.”

The domain then was added to Vad’s order history while his Google Webmaster Tools informed him of the ownership of, as proved by the screenshots he posted online.

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

However Vad’s fortunate purchase on Monday was short-lived, as Google Domains canceled the sale a minute later. The reason for the cancellation was simple – the company said someone had registered the site before he could.

“So for one minute I had access,” Ved said. “At least I can now say I’m the man who owned for a minute.”

Ved was immediately refunded his $12, but received no reparations for the shattered dream of owning the internet giant’s domain.

“I can't shake that feeling that I actually owned,” Ved said.

While Google has so far declined to comment on the circumstances which made his purchase possible, Ved's told CNET's Crave blog that Google is investigating. Google’s Security Team acknowledged the incident.