I'm no domain futures entrepreneur, but if I had to guess, of all the domains in all of the internet, a little web address known as google.com is probably worth a pretty penny. So it's more than a little crazy that a random guy says he was able to buy it for $12 Wednesday.
Sanmay Ved is an ex-Googler, a current MBA student, and, apparently, someone who enjoys seeing if domain names are available for purchase in the middle of the night. He says that using Google Domains, he bought Google.com for approximately one minute on September 29 at about 1:19 AM. His "ownership" lasted a minute before it reverted back to Google.
"I was hoping I would get an error at sometime saying transaction did not go through, but I was able to complete purchase, and my credit card was actually charged!," he wrote in a LinkedIn post explaining what happened.
Ved provided numerous screenshots in his LinkedIn post and says he sent an entire account of what happened to Google security. He says Google acknowledged the error to him—the company has not yet responded to a Motherboard request for comment. A Google spokesperson told me the company is investigating the issue and isn't noticing anything out of the ordinary. Ved did not immediately respond to my interview request.
"Quite clearly, ownership had been granted to me," he wrote. "Order was successful."
Ved said that he temporarily had access to Google's Webmaster Tools and some google.com registration info. He didn't have time, however, to turn it into a giant parody site.
Masters of their Domain is a column that investigates who owns popular or interesting domain names, and what they're doing with them.