On Wednesday Alex Tew, a 21-year-old entrepreneur from Wiltshire, sold the final 1,000 pixels on his site for $38,100 on eBay auction – a handsome increase on the starting price of $1,000 – reaching his goal of earning a million dollars. "I will confirm the sale in 24 hours when I’ve cashed the money," he told the Financial Times.The site also led to several copycat sites, including the Million Penny Homepage and my favorite, the Zero Million Dollar Homepage (some humor from Google Blogoscoped).
Mr Tew’s initial investment was £50 to buy web space and a domain name. He divided the blank homepage into 10,000 squares of 100 pixels each. Each pixel was worth $1, minimum purchase: $100.
The "million dollar homepage" expanded without an established brand name or target audience.
The site went live on August 26, 2005, and three days later Mr Tew sold his first 400 pixels. Through word of mouth, chain e-mails and ever-growing media coverage, the website built a name for itself and gained popularity and interest from web surfers.
Within a month Mr Tew had earned some £20,000 ($37,000) – "enough pixels to cover the entire cost of my forthcoming three years at university," Mr Tew said.
The final 1,000 pixels were sold through an ebay auction, which at one point reached 6 million dollars. However, after some retracted bids and other fake or supposedly "erroneous" bids, the auction ended with a winning bid of $38,100.