The Million Dollar Homepage – What an idea!



Everyday we plan and think about making some money by doing something online. We write blogs, try to sale advertisement  space through BSA, write paid review, go for AdSense, Chitika and do 100s of things. Sometimes when we run out of ideas, we even don’t hesitate to create copy-paste post or write useless review of electronics gadgets.

But the things only few of us do, is to think creatively and do something different rather than following the path where millions of people are already there. And whoever thinks creative, ultimately wins in this race.

Have you ever heard of The Million Dollar Homepage? This was one of the most famous idea of making money online and one of the smartest in the pool.

The Million Dollar Homepage

In the year 2005, Alex Tew a student from England, designed this website. The idea was simple but an innovative one of that era of dot-com.

He simply tried to sell pixels of his website home page for advertisement.  Home page was divided into 1000 x 1000 (=1million) pixel and Alex was selling 1 px for $1.

As 1 pixel was practically of no use for advertisement, he further arranged those 1million pixel into 100 x 100 boxes (vertical and horizontal). Now 1 box (10×10=100px) was available for sale at the price of 100 US Dollar.


(This is how MillionDollarHomePage looks like today.)

The idea was to raise 1 million US Dollar by selling 1million pixel on, so that Alex Tew could pay his university fees for 3 years.

Was Alex able to sell all of those 1 million pixel?

Certainly yes! In fact last 1000 pixel were sold at ebay auction and total money raised by selling those 1 million pixel were 1,037,100 US Dollar. It was in fact a new dimension touched by Alex by selling those 1 m pixels.

Now the most important question is why people bought those pixels from Alex? If I launch similar website today and try to sell pixel, I am sure that I will have to struggle even to sale some of them. How Alex managed to sell 1 million pixel?

Answer is simple but tricky. He didn’t beg people to buy those pixels. In fact he offered his buyers to “Own a piece of internet history!”. This was the punch line of The Million Dollar Homepage.

Launched on August 2005, Alex also promised his buyers that he will keep this advertisement website live for at least 5 years and will aim to keep it live forever. We can see that website has entered in its 7th year of age and still live.

Was this promise enough for his buyers to spends thousands of dollars to grab those pixels? No… there was one more thing which I haven’t mentioned yet. Innovative and creative idea! It was first of its kind which was combined with professional commitment of maintaining this website for 5 years. And that did the trick!

TheMillionDollarHomepage was successfully able to raise more than a million dollar by just selling pixels! Rest is a history.

After Alex did this, 100s of such websites popped up and everyone was then trying to sell pixels. Some of them was able to sell some pixels and some were not even able to recover domain/hosting cost. They were running again in the race with 1000s of people with an old idea.

Do you also have some brilliant idea like Alex Tew? Or have you tried something very innovative sometimes in your professional life? Let us know about your experience.

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Category: Advertisement, Blog, Domain, Online Shoppig, Tricks

About the Author (Author Profile)

Ritesh Kumar is having 6+ years of IT experience in various business intelligence tools and technologies.A mechanical engineer by education and a software engineer by profession. Apart from working on Informatica PC, Pentaho tools, Talend OS, Oracle, MySQL, Hadoop, Pig latin, Business objects (ah... long list to go), I also interest in domaining and blogging. Do take some time to visit about me section of this blog.

Comments (31)

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  1. Ashish Kumar says:

    osm osm really a gud 1…ws nevr knowing abt that…came 2 know tdy…gr8

  2. PrIyAnGsHu from Internet Marketing Blog says:

    Wow , i never knew about it ! Thanks for sharing it with us !
    PrIyAnGsHu @ Internet Marketing Blog recently posted..Official Facebook App 4.0 For iPad & iPhone – Free DownloadMy Profile

  3. Sudarshan from TechKnowGuide says:

    What a great idea man!…..Really genius must say!
    Sudarshan@TechKnowGuide recently posted..Search Securely with Google EncryptedMy Profile

  4. Abhishek says:

    vow man,this is just awesome :-)
    Abhishek recently posted..Samsung Galaxy Note (Smartphone and Tab Mixed)My Profile

  5. Yea, that was a great idea and he made real good money from that. Innovative thoughts are what lingers around for a long time.
    Praveen Rajarao recently posted..How to Remove Draft Posts from your Recent PostsMy Profile

  6. Eric Murphy says:

    Thats a great thing for me. I never know about this. Still I am confused what he sells??
    Eric Murphy recently posted..Motorola Atrix 2 Unlocked Cell PhoneMy Profile

    • Ritesh Kumar says:

      to answer your question Eric, we make space of our blogs available to publish ads (say 125x125px on buysellads). So in a way, we sell 125×125 px of our blog to buysellads for a month.
      Alex used the same idea but he sold 1px @ $1 and this sell was permanently.

  7. WOW. What a brilliant innovation. I’ve never heard of it before. It’s amazing how what seems like a crazy idea will turn out to be so profitable.
    You’re right, anyone willing to adopt an uncommon idea with making money online will surely get uncommon results.
    Thanks for sharing Ritesh
    Ikenna Odinaka recently posted..Having a Hectic day? How to Use your mobile phone to keep up your blog after a long dayMy Profile

  8. Rohit says:

    I remember visiting milliondollorhomepage website when it was first launched. There was a small news about it in Times of India. This was a brilliant idea and it paid handsomely.
    Rohit recently posted..Are You Getting 3200 / 3002 Error While Upgrading To iOS5 ?My Profile

  9. Very nice concept. Novel ideas always reach people very well and works great. Addressing the right path among the infinite possibility is the key for all.
    MANICKAM VIJAYABANU recently posted..Steps To Develop Your Business On Social MediaMy Profile

  10. reeha from gift ideas says:

    This is something new and quite amazing one for me. thanks a ton for sharing it with me. this looks a useful idea.

  11. Yes the million dollar homepage really was a great idea when it came out. It is important to innovate and think of the next idea thanks for the reminder.
    wisdom teeth removal recently posted..Why People Hate the DentistMy Profile

  12. Hamish says:

    Yeah – I remember that. As you said in your post, the fact that he was the first – plus the fact that it was very well marketed – was a major factor in the success of the page. I’m kind of surprised to learn that it’s still up there.

    I tell you what though, I had a good time when I was at university – but I didn’t need one million dollars to “tide me over” for 3 years!
    Hamish recently posted..Kindle Fire vs Nook Color (vs iPad)My Profile

  13. This again proves that being innovative is the key. In this competitive world where there are thousands and infact millions of websites and blogs you have to provide something unique and effective in order to make quick bucks
    Marzan Chowdhury recently posted..How To Turn Your PC Into A Virtual Wireless Router [Virtual Wi-Fi Router]My Profile

  14. aatif says:

    Now he will make that money in future also and he don’t need to do any thing else :) But advertiser will buy for sometime or for life time ?
    aatif recently posted..Nokia X7 Price and specificationsMy Profile

  15. Prem pandit says:

    Great Idea.Thanks for Sharing
    Prem pandit recently posted..Most useful IPhone AppsMy Profile

  16. Congrats to Alex. I remember hearing about this page back when it first got going and am glad to hear the result. Thank you for sharing.

    What’s neat is that his page is so talked about now and the domain is so old that the links are probably really valuable. So the advertisers are definitely getting the return on their investment in terms of link juice.

  17. Gagan Arora says:

    wow great its unbelievable…thanks for sharing….
    Gagan Arora recently posted..Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge(2011)400MB ScamRip Movie MediaFire Free Download LinksMy Profile

  18. Suraj from Seekably says:

    Thanks for the share. This is something different.
    Suraj @Seekably recently posted..Ice-cream Sandwich: Introducing the all new Android 4.0My Profile

  19. Navin from says:

    There is a saying “Failure is the key to innovation”, but Alex’s case was different. He was concerned about re-paying of his mangement course student loan, may be he was thinking of failure! This situation led him to start website “The Million Dollar Homepage”. He is genius! recently posted..Five Mistakes to Avoid When Link BuildingMy Profile

  20. Gaurav Garg says:

    nice post… really awesome work.. but can you tell me the geniune way for getting traffic from us and uk….
    Gaurav Garg recently posted..Free Airtel GPRS and Airtel Broad Band Trick For 2011My Profile

  21. anuj from WordPressSEO says:

    the guy Alex is a genius! He made so much money with such a simple idea and simple website gr8 :)
    anuj@WordPressSEO recently posted..Business Blogging Tips: Top Topics To Blog AboutMy Profile

  22. reeha from super sale says:

    This millionaire idea works wonder for me and now a days i am also thinking about such an idea to explore and get benefited.

  23. this happen a long time ago. now people doesn’t spend dollars for nothing.
    You need a new and more valuable idea to earn money

  24. Ankur Rautela from says:

    The million dollar page is really a great idea of that student.
    Thank you Ritesh for sharing this article.

  25. David says:

    It seems to be the great opportunity for the bloggers to get the work on the million dollars page and get the more traffic according to your way.

  26. Alex has a great vision. Although the ideas is simple but yet is too unique at that time that grab many press and publicity attention. WOM is powerful. This is also how he can be succeed.

  27. George says:

    Sometimes it just takes an idea to change the world around. I still can’t believe if it really happened. Its something which i’ll never ever forget.

  28. Ashish says:

    I did not knew about this page until i read this article.
    As we have seen, an innovative idea is what will sell in what we call World Wide Web. Doing something that someone else has done in the past means you are not original, thus your interest can easily turn to another,better copy of the original idea.
    Let’s hope that we will continue seeing innovative things in all sections of our life, not only technology. Also, let’s hope that we will have an excellent idea that will make money for us :)

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