Late last month, a former Google employee managed to buy the URL via Google Domains for $12.

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Google might own the entire alphabet, but it recently almost lost control of its own Web domain.

Late last month, a former employee managed to buy the URL via Google Domains for $12. And while the glory of owning the world's most-visited website may have lasted only a moment, it seems many people will benefit from the mishap.

In a LinkedIn blog post, Sanmay Ved said he was putzing around Google Domains and discovered that was available for purchase. Naturally, he bought it. "I was hoping I would get an error at sometime saying transaction did not go through," wrote Ved. "But I was able to complete [the] purchase, and my credit card was actually charged!

"Quite clearly, ownership had been granted to me," he added. "Order was successful."

But it didn't last long: The purchase was almost immediately followed by a cancellation email from Google Domains. About a week later, Ved was contacted by Google Security, which offered a reward "in a very Googley way."

"I wrote back and told them it was never about the money," he said. Instead, he asked that the money be donated to the Art of Living India Foundation charity. Google agreed, and even doubled the reward for the Art of Living's education program, which runs 404 free schools across 18 states in India.

Ved declined to share the final reward amount. He did, however, jokingly suggest that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent tour of Google's Mountain View headquarters had something to do with it. "The very next day of his visit, it ended up convincing Google to sell what is perhaps their most prized possession to a person hailing from the small city of Mandvi in the Kutch region … albeit just for a minute or so," he wrote on LinkedIn.

"Some divine force decided to give me ownership for a minute or so," Ved said.

Google declined to comment.