This one will go down in history as one of the most bizarre occurrences of our time.
April 21, 2021, was just an ordinary day for Nicolas Kurona, a 30-year-old website designer from Bueno Aires, Argentina. He was working on a client’s site that day when he suddenly started receiving messages from his friends in WhatsApp notifying him that Google was down.
Most of us would patiently find other things to do as we wait for the tech giant to resume its services.
He did the unthinkable.
He searched for www.google.com.ar to find out what the problem was, but it wasn’t working. He then proceeded to the Network Information Center, Argentina (NIC) that operates the country’s .ar domains. After a search, he discovered that it was available to any willing buyer.
He experimented to see whether he would be able to acquire it. To his amazement, he got a $2 (270 pesos) purchase invoice immediately.
Worth of Web estimates the domain’s value to be around $850, 000 000. Nicolas had the chance to acquire it for less than $5!
He became an instant social media hero, when he tweeted about this, gathering 80K likes. In the tweet, he stated that he didn’t mean any harm, and that NIC had allowed him to carry out the process lawfully.
The strangest thing is that although the Google domain name appeared to be expired, it actually wasn’t. Its expiration date is July 2021.
Nicolas was so excited and scared at the same after seeing his information on the Google site soon after purchase. The company reacted quite fast, however, and reclaimed the domain.
For now, the designer is relieved that he didn’t get into any trouble.
It’s still not clear why Google was down that day.
Here’s a tip – if you’re thinking of building a site, go for a reliable hosting company to take care of things like uptime, security, bandwidth, and storage months. That could prevent something similar from happening to you.