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Five ridiculous ways billionaires have spent their money

Samantha Menzies


Billionaires are known for their eccentric spending and publicity stunts.

But while some choose to spend their money buying million-dollar mansions, going on extravagant holidays and a car collection, some have a little more unconventional way of spending money.

Below is a list of five of the most bizarre things billionaires have done with their money.

Also read: Why Aussie income and wealth is stalling

Alien hunting

Russian Silicon Valley entrepreneur Yuri Milner, is the man funding the $135 million 10-year search for alien life.

The Breakthrough Listen initiative is expected to be the most intensive scientific search ever undertaken for signs of extraterrestrial intelligent life.

Dinosaur DNA

In 2012, Australian billionaire Clive Palmer spent millions of dollars on research into cloning dinosaur DNA in attempt to create his own real life Jurassic Park at his Palmer Resort in Coolum, Queensland.

Once that failed he invested further millions into commissioning hundreds of animatronic dinosaurs for the hotel and golfing resort instead.

The park was closed down earlier this year for renovations after a fire destroyed a 10-metre model Tyrannosaurus Rex, nicknamed Jeff.

To ‘turn’ lesbian daughter straight

Hong Kong billionaire, Cecil Chao, made headlines in September 2012 for offering around $65 million to any man who could turn his lesbian daughter straight.

After thousands of eligible bachelors failed to change his daughter’s sexual orientation, Chao doubled the reward to $120 million in January 2014.

Also read: How to become a millionaire by 2020

Carve name visible from space

UAE-based billionaire Sheikh Hamad Bin Haman Al Nahyan spent an estimated $22 million carving his name on his private island, in letters so large they could be seen from space.

The word 'HAMAD' measured 1,000 metres high was a staggering two miles long from the 'H' to the 'D' on the Al Futaisi island, and rather than allow the writing to be washed away by the ocean, the letters were formed of waterways from the nearby ocean.

The spectacle has since been erased.

Also read: Why billionaire Richard Branson's definition of success has nothing to do with money

Keep warm

Conventional people, let alone billionaires, usually spend their money to keep warm though heating their home, but Pablo Escobar reportedly once burned $1 million in cash to keep his daughter warm while they were on the run.

If that wasn’t excessive enough, he also spend untold millions building his own private prison to house himself as he didn’t think a government-run one would be well enough equipped.