The Surprising Things Billionaires Spend Their Money On
There’s plenty of information out there about how billionaires make their money, but we don't know nearly as much about how they spend it. And because there are so many new billionaires, the world really could use a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous reboot.
What kind of jet does Jeff Bezos have? What cool feature is in Elon Musk's house? Let's dig into the most expensive purchases, donations and investments of the world's billionaires.
Jeff Bezos Spent $65 Million on a Private Jet
Have you heard of a Gulfstream G650ER? This luxury private jet may be unheard of to the average person, but it’s one of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's favorite ways to get around. This private jet only seats eight passengers, and that's enough for Bezos.
Elon Musk Bought a $100,000 Bond Car
As the CEO of the Tesla car brand, you might think that a souped-up Tesla would be Elon Musk's fanciest ride. While he might own expensive cars, one of them is extremely rare. He purchased the beauty at an auction in London for no less than $100,000.
Kochouseph Chittilappilly Gave $79 Million to Charity
Kochouseph Chittilappilly is an Indian billionaire who made his fortune in the electronics and appliances business. Although he’s still working, he’s now well into his sixties. While most people spend this stage of life vacationing and taking it easy, this billionaire has started a new project — the K. Chittilappilly Foundation.
Mark Cuban Has a $40-million Time-saver
Mark Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and is a serial investor. He earned his spot in the Guinness Book of World Records when he bought a $40 million Gulfstream private jet via the internet. That was the most money an individual had spent on a single purchase online.
Bill Gates Gave $10 Billion to Three Charities
Access to healthcare is close to Bill Gates's heart. Preventable diseases and lack of medical supplies are two factors responsible for the deaths of millions of people annually. That's why Bill Gates made hefty donations to three organizations.
Mark Zuckerberg Owns a Sweet $72.8-million Hawaiian Estate
Farming is the last thing that comes to people's minds when they think of Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder. But Zuckerberg happens to be the owner of a huge sugar cane plantation in Hawaii. The plantation, which covers around 700 acres, sits beside a breathtaking white sand beach.
Bill Gates Had a $40-million "Big Splurge"
Private jets are to billionaires what cars are to thousandaires. It makes sense that Bill Gates, the richest man in the world for several years, would have one of the most expensive ones. Unlike commercial planes, private jets have just a few seats.
Adam Neuman's $21-million-dollar Home Has a Guitar Room
Adam Neuman is the wealthy founder of WeWork. Although he has stepped away from the company, that hasn't stopped him from making plenty of real estate investments. The Bay Area is known for being a hotbed for plenty of cutting-edge technology companies.
Bill Gates Paid $30 Million for a Leonardo da Vinci Manuscript
Leonardo da Vinci was an accomplished artist and scientist. Over the years, much of his life's work has been discovered. Some of his lesser-known works include sketchbooks and half-finished scientific musings. Bill Gates is the proud owner of the $30-million Codex Leicester.
Richard Branson Bought an Island for $180,000
Sir Richard Branson is the entrepreneurial genius behind the Virgin brands. He lives on Necker Island, the private island that he bought. Branson purchased the 74-acre island before he was a billionaire when he could only afford to pay around $100,000 for it.
Elon Musk Bought a $17-million House in Bel Air
Like The Fresh Prince, Elon Musk lives in a mansion in Bel Air. Of course, he owns impressive properties all over the world, but his Bel Air mansion is one of the more lavish homes Musk has. He purchased the jaw-dropping house for $17 million.
Larry Ellison Bought Some Amazing Yachts
Larry Ellison, the technologically inclined mind behind Oracle, owns a yacht called Musashi that’s nearly 300 feet long. The aesthetic elements of the yacht are influenced by traditional Japanese decor. It has its own movie theater and a glass elevator.
Bill Gates Paid $161 Million to Be Part Owner of the Ritz Carlton
In addition to running Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates is also the founder of Cascade Investment. Through the company, Bill Gates and other private investors make large purchases of businesses and properties together. Bill Gates contributed $161 million towards the investment group’s purchase of the iconic Ritz Carlton in San Francisco.
Michael Dell Paid $40 Million for a Four Seasons Penthouse
Plenty of people have a favorite room in a hotel, but very few people are able to buy said room. Michael Dell, the namesake founder of computer company Dell, purchased the penthouse of The Four Seasons in Boston. Dell's is one of three penthouses built in the skyscraper.
Jeff Bezos Spent His Vacation on a Submarine
It's not all about the things money can buy. Experiences provide memories that last a lifetime. Jeff Bezos lived on a submarine for a three-week vacation of sorts. He and his team explored the ocean floor for artifacts.
Oprah Winfrey Bought 10% of Weight Watchers for $43 Million
Weight Watchers, now known as WW, has been a big player in the multi-billion-dollar weight-loss industry for decades. Oprah Winfrey claimed a stake in the iconic brand when she paid $43 million for 10% of the company in 2015.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin Bought a Private Airport for $82 Million
Plenty of billionaires own private jets, but how many can say they own private airports? Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page purchased a private airport together for $82 million. It’s unclear whether their private airport is used for Google business, for personal pleasure or for both.
Michael Dell Has Spent $100 Million on His Photography Collection
MSD Capital is the company Michael Dell uses to grow and distribute his wealth. Through the company, he was able to explore his love of photography. Dell purchased a collection of more than 180,000 pictures. It’s unclear how much he paid, but it’s valued at around $100 million.
Steve Cohen Bought a Preserved Shark for $8 Million
People have a lot of strange decorations in their homes. Some people have dolls that are...less than adorable. Others have pictures with eyes that seem to follow you around the room. If you ever have the pleasure of visiting Steve Cohen, you may just see a shark in the living room.
Oprah Winfrey Has Spent $140 Million on the Gift of Education
Oprah Winfrey grew up in poverty in rural America. Her life changed when she went to college and learned the skills necessary to further her career. Millions of young women become stuck in a cycle of poverty simply because their families cannot afford an education.
Alice Walton Paid $88.8 Million for Artwork
Alice Walton, the Walmart heiress, paid $88.8 million for a highly sought-after Robert Rauschenberg silkscreen painting. The painting, called "Buffalo II," depicts the late President John F. Kennedy, along with other historically significant symbols.
Laurene Powell Jobs Donated $50 Million Toward Education Reform
Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs, is using her large fortune for philanthropy. She founded the Emerson Collective, a company that invests in startups and nonprofits that help the environment, immigrants and education. She has donated $50 million of her funds towards XQ: The Super School Project.
Sergey Brin Pays $1,760 a Month for Trapeze Lessons
Some people enjoy painting. Others enjoy tennis. What kind of hobbies does a billionaire have? Google co-founder Sergey Brin spends his free time flying through the air on a trapeze. New York is a show biz city, and regular trapeze lessons are available at Circus Warehouse.
Oprah Winfrey Spent $9.2 Million on a Vacation for Her Staff
On her talk show, Oprah Winfrey was known for giving expensive gifts to everyone in her audience. She did the same for all of her staff members in 2009. For 10 days, Oprah and more than a hundred employees cruised around and beyond the Mediterranean region.
Kylie Jenner Spent More Than $400,000 on a Purse Collection
Kylie Jenner is more than a reality star. Although her family name may have helped her become famous, her family didn’t build a cosmetics line for her. This young billionaire has an impressive handbag collection. She’s acquired it over time, and it’s estimated to be worth at least $400,000.
Michael Dell and Rob Walton Own a $280-million Hawaiian Hotel
Michael Dell is the founder of Dell, and Rob Walton is the son of Walmart's founder. Back in 2006, the two billionaires purchased the tropical Four Seasons Resort in Hualalai, Hawaii. A Four Seasons in Hawaii can only be luxurious, but this hotel really takes the cake.
Mark Zuckerberg Spent $1.3 Million on a Car You've Probably Never Heard Of
Mark Zuckerberg, like some other billionaires, isn’t known for being flashy. He has a lot of money, but his college-student fashion sense and the car he drives don't necessarily show it. Although he’s often photographed cruising around in a Honda Fit, Zuckerberg does have a sports car one would expect from a young billionaire.
Larry Ellison Paid $600 Million for a Piece of Hawaii
Larry Ellison is the majority owner of the Hawaiian island Lanai. This private island has been an oasis for the richest people in the world. Although it’s considered part of Hawaii today, the island was its own nation until it became part of Hawaii's monarchy in the early 1800s.
Azim Premji Donated 67% of His Shares to Charity
Azim Premji is the CEO of Indian tech giant Wipro. Wipro, founded by Premji's father, started off as a producer of vegetable oil. Under Premji's leadership, the company transitioned to the technology sector and excelled in it. Rather than keeping shares of his company for himself and his family, Premji donates them to his charitable organization.
Larry Ellison Splurged on Fighter Jets
Larry Ellison is a licensed pilot, so this purchase is another reason for him to indulge in an atypical — at least for the rest of us — hobby. Ellison bought the fighter jets from Italy and the former Soviet Union.