Often seen as only months away from extinction, it has not only survived but stood the test of time as it continues to surprise us by achieving one milestone after another.

"Wikipedia seemed like an impossible idea at the time – an online encyclopedia that everyone can edit. However, it has surpassed everyone's expectations over the past 15 years," media quoted co-founder Jimmy Wales as saying on Wikipedia's 15th anniversary.

Today Wikipedia boasts over 36 million logged articles with nearly 100,000 volunteers working day and night making around 15,000 edits and creating 7,000 new articles every hour. Much of this success is due to the generosity of the readers of Wikipedia, which unlike other websites follows free, no-ads approach to information.

This left the digital encyclopedia spending a significant portion of the year asking for birthday gifts in the form of cash donations to save it from compromising its relatively impartial stance.

Moreover, there are plans to add more videos and continue adapting to the mobile world to keep the website relevant in the ever-changing online landscape – and those expansions definitely cost money.

So far, the omens for success look very good for the game-changer with the first USD 1 million donation in 2016 coming from the estate of software engineer Jim Pacha. This has given the parent organisation, Wikimedia Foundation, enough legroom to keep the site around for the long haul.