Pixel Perfect

home page kid alex tew CBS

Some people think a computer keyboard makes a clicking sound. Others hear the sound of money.

Alex Tew, an impoverished, 21-year-old college student heard a lot of money.

"I was quite up front. I said, 'I am making a million dollars,'" Tew tells CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips.

How? Simple really. Tew set up a Web site called, the "Million Dollar Homepage.com"

It was made up of a million pixels — the tiny dots of light that form the computer screen image. It was a "Duh!" moment.

Tew's idea was 1 million pixels for $1. Tew says the price, "catches people's attention."

A dollar a pixel, sold in blocks of a 100, each block linking to the advertisers' own Web site.

Who bought — a veritable riot of online gambling sites, dating services and other Internet vendors. Tew did not sell to porn or hate sites. And the buyers were not all big. For example, Tew sold 100 pixels to a yarn mill in New England.

For 4 ½ months .

"I thought, 'This is ridiculous. What's going on?' I might actually make a million dollars," Tew recalls.

Until, finally, there was only one block left and such demand for it, Alex started taking bids on eBay.

It sold Wednesday for $38,100.

"It doesn't feel like I've made a million dollars," Tew admits, "it feels like monopoly money."

Monopoly money he's used so far to buy a new car. And more than enough to pay for his college education.

The site is more than a money machine, it's being called art. A snapshot of the world of Internet commerce.

Alex's next idea? Well, he has reserved a Web site called the "Billion Dollar Homepage."
  • Sean Alfano

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