Clearly one of the most surprising and outstanding expiring domain of the year is health.org. The domain owner, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) will not win the domain owner of the year award by letting such a domain name expire and even not renewing it in the early grace period. There is no website running on the domain since 2014, which is also very disappointing. A domain name like this deserves a better owner, and this is not just mine opinion but this is the ICANN rule for expired domains, so health.org was ready to go to the pending delete period and an expiring domain auction started at GoDaddy where the domain was registered.
The auction started at the weekend and prices skyrocketed immediately. Just after 2 days, the highest bid was over $140,000 and there was 10 days left from the auction. Even passing half a million dollar was predictable with such a start. The domain name is clearly outstanding and not just the name alone but also its topic and backlink profile.
Anyhow, nothing came to my mind, which .org domain could be better than health.org. So it is a very possible scenario that we will not see such a price for an .org domain ever than the predicted outcome of this auction. Especially because the prices of not organization related .org domains are in free fall with the increasing popularity of trendy (.io, .ly, .me) and new gTLDs. In the last 4 years, there was a single 6 figure .org sale, move.org and 5 figure sales are also not frequent for this TLD recently, check the table below.
UPDATE: health.org domain has been renewed in the “last minute”, auction has been canceled at $153,000.