This story is a wonderful trail of things that you’d never expect to happen. A Russian nesting doll of absurdity.
Back in September, a random ex-Google employee bought Google.com. For 12 bucks. Late one night, Sanmay Ved was searching Google’s website-buying service Google Domains and noticed Google.com had gone up for sale. Naturally, Ved assumed it couldn’t possibly be the real Google.com, but what the hell, he paid Google’s standard $12-per-domain fee and bought it. Turns out it was the real deal. Google canceled the sale almost immediately, but for a minute Ved not only owned Google, but had full access to their webmaster controls.
Initially Google wasn’t going to pay Ved, saying what happened was merely a glitch and not a real purchase, but when Ved pledged to donate any money he got from Google to charity, they agreed to pay an undisclosed sum.
Well, in a recent blog post, Google revealed how much they paid Ved, and it seems almost giving away their domain name didn’t ruin Google’s sense of humor. Google paid Ved $6,006.13, which kinda, sorta spells “Google” if you flip the 6’s upside down and turn the 3 to the right. Ved donated the money to a foundation that provides educational opportunities to those living in India’s slums.
So yes, Google accidentally sold their own domain name, but the guy who bought it decided he didn’t want to profit from it, so Google basically paid him off with a pun. Everything I know about how the world works says that shouldn’t have happened for a million different reasons, but it did. I can tell you this much – if I had managed to buy Google.com, I sure wouldn’t be making my living writing posts like these any more.