It definitely pays to be computer savvy, as Boston-area business student Sanway Ved proved recently. He was apparently playing around on Google Domains trying to learn more about Google’s URL-selling service, when he searched for Google.com and found that it was up for the taking! He put the ULR in his cart and bought it for $12, only to see one minute after the purchase went through that Google canceled the sale and refunded the order. Ved reported the vulnerability as a courtesy to Google (not trying to get rich off of the glitch).
Google rewarded him with $6006.13, which they claim spellings out “Google” although you probably have to squint to see it. When Google learned that Ved was giving the money to the Art of Living India foundation, a nonprofit that runs free schools in India, they matched the amount for a total of $12,012.26.
As Ved said to Business Insider after Google offered him the reward, “I don’t care about the money. 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.”
Interestingly, in 2015 alone, Google paid out more than $2 million in rewards to researchers around the world who found glitches.