Sanmay Ved an ex Google and current Amazon employee managed to buy google.com domain for $12! Oh yeah this is one of those moments where even your grandmother would go like
Noone seems to know exactly what happened. However as per Sanmay’s Linked In post for a brief one minute moment suddenly Google Domains showed the Google.com domain as available. Imagining it to be a hoax of some kind Sanmay added the domain to his shopping cart and placed his order expecting things to fall apart at any given moment. He however could not believe his luck when his credit card was actually charged $12 and he received emails from Google Domains actually confirming his ownership of the domain.
It got better when he received a flood of other emails from Google webmaster tools giving him access to data that can sell on the stock exchange for hundreds of millions if not billions. Following is a quote from his Linked In article
Additionally, I started receiving notifications, for when ownership changed (along with new owner details etc.) in the Google Search Console for websites (I will not name them) that are powered by Google Sites (which makes sense given that websites powered by Google Sites rest on the master domain Google.com). Quite clearly, ownership had been granted to me. Order was successful.
Alas the dream shattered soon. Within a minute he received an order cancellation email from Google Domains and a refund of his $12 amount. Imagine though if he had the ownership for even 5 minutes. Mere 5 minutes…..!!!
You can refer to his original post here for more details and screenshots.