Craziest Purchases of Billionaire Bill Gates
If you woke up tomorrow and found out you won the lottery, you would probably go on a bit of a spending spree, right? Dream car, check. Dream home, check. Luxury vacation, check. Those are obvious buys, but what about less obvious purchases that are custom made for your own personal tastes? (Fully stocked library or wine cellar, anyone?)
Of course, some lucky members of society don’t have to wait to win the lottery to buy all the things their hearts desire. Tech genius billionaire Bill Gates is one of those people. Ever wondered how a man with such a creative mind spends his fortune? Some purchases are sure to surprise you. Take a look!
The Source of All That Dough
We've heard Bill Gates’ name everywhere, and most of us use his key invention daily, but maybe adding a few details to the billionaire's story wouldn't be amiss. The Seattle-born-and-raised tech giant founded Microsoft with his friend Paul Allen back in 1975, and his success just continued to snowball from there.
The Giving Pledge
With presidential candidate Tom Steyer talking about his signing of The Giving Pledge, it may be worth mentioning that Bill Gates was a founding member of the campaign back in 2010. The Giving Pledge is a campaign that encourages the wealthiest people to donate the majority of their wealth instead of hoarding it for themselves and their descendants.
Fleet of Cars
Just like any other car enthusiast, Bill Gates has used some of his massive fortune to invest in a fleet of sports cars. Everyone has a favorite hobby, right? Gates simply has the resources to indulge in his a little more than the rest of us.
Exotic Tropical Island
Who wouldn't want their own private island? When you're a billionaire like Bill Gates, you could actually own one. It had to be great for family vacations when he needed a break from the work that earned his fortune, and it definitely gives him some bragging rights. Not many people can say they own an island, after all.
Seattle Luxury Home
Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Gates decided long ago to establish his primary residence in the area as well as make it the central location for Microsoft. He purchased his home in Medina many years ago, and it has been updated to suit the tastes of a billionaire.
Florida Equestrian Home
Washington may be his primary residence, but that doesn't stop Gates from having houses in other parts of the world. One of his daughters, Jennifer, is an avid equestrian. To support her passion, he purchased an equestrian estate in Florida — her siblings probably enjoy it too — valued at about $55 million.
Okay, so he doesn't really have "magic" walls, but it’s about as close as you can get with modern technology. Most of the art that hangs on the walls of his home can be changed with the touch of a button, alternating between modern art and classic works.
No billionaire's mansion would be complete without an entire room dedicated to a massive trampoline, right? Well, Bill Gates certainly seems to think so. People aren't entirely sure exactly how large the trampoline is, but if Gates' other toys are any indication, we can assume it's pretty big.
To enjoy the latest musicals and movies, Gates has his own home theater room. If mere mortals can set up personal theaters in their homes, it's an easy feat for a billionaire. Of course, his room is a little different than the type of home theater most of us might hope to have in our own homes.
Winslow Homer Painting
Winslow Homer — no relation to the Greek storyteller — was an American painter in the mid- and late-19th century. He was mostly self taught, although he did study under a master for a year. He spent some time on the fronts of the Civil War sketching scenes of battles as well as calmer scenes of the soldiers' lives. He also painted many landscapes.
When a busy bee billionaire like Bill (okay, we'll stop) needs to get somewhere fast, he doesn't take regular transportation. Whether he drives one of his Porsches to get to the airport is unclear, but it’s definitely clear that he owns his very own private jet.
Huge Swimming Pool
Ask any toddler, child, teenager or adult, and they will tell you that it’s essential for their dream house to include a swimming pool. Gates is no different, and he fulfilled the internationally shared dream by having one within his very own home. It's not just any pool, however.
A personal library is yet another universal childhood dream for many. Bill Gates has fulfilled that dream as well, with a massive library inside his Seattle home. According to various sources, the library is around 2,100 square feet and has a Great Gatsby quote written on the ceiling.
Gates might not own the "Mona Lisa," but he does own one Da Vinci piece: the Codex Leicester. It's a manuscript from the 16th century that contains notes and general scientific writings by Leonardo Da Vinci himself. (His ideas on plate tectonics and reasons the moon isn’t as bright as the sun pre-date the proven science by hundreds of years.)
Private Beach and Stream...Sort Of
At Gates' property in Washington, he has created an artificial stream that is kept stocked with salmon and trout. Just think of it as a little something to add to a house that is already nestled on waterfront property and surrounded by nature on all sides.
George Bellows Painting
George Bellows was an American painter who was famous in the early 20th century for depicting urban scenes, mostly of New York, as well as for the way many of his paintings made social commentaries on the upper class and the daily themes of living in the city in general. Many of his paintings are displayed in museums — but not all of them.
To house his fleet of collector cars as well as the cars of any guests who come to stay, Gates has built a lot of garages on his Seattle property. Each one was designed specifically to look beautiful, of course, but one particularly interesting garage looks a little broken.
Over the years, Gates has made a lot of investments in a lot of different businesses and markets. One market that might seem a little surprising is the hospitality market, he owns or co-owns several different hotels around the world. Through his personal investment firm, for example, he apparently owns almost half of the Four Seasons hotel chain.
Foundation to Close the Education Gap
While Bill Gates doesn’t hesitate to spend on himself and his family, he has already stated he will only be leaving his children $10 million each in his will. He and Melinda are huge philanthropists, and one of their many priorities over the years has been education.
Sweet Exercise Room
If we're being honest, exercising isn't something most of us are excited about doing. Maybe that opinion would change if we could work out in the exercise rooms Bill Gates has at his Seattle home. Let’s just say "nice" is an understatement.
Various Vehicle Investments
Being a tech giant just wasn't enough for Bill Gates, apparently, so he invested in a lot of other industries as well. In some cases, those markets make sense, but sometimes the inspiration seems to come from out of left field.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill and Melinda Gates focus a lot of their time and energy on charity work, especially now that he has stepped back from most official roles within his company. They have even been named the most generous philanthropists in the United States. Their foundation was established in 2000 and has more than $46 billion in assets.
If a massive Washington mansion and an equestrian estate in Florida aren’t enough to impress you, Gates has property holdings elsewhere as well. One of them is a ranch located in California. He also had a second ranch in Wyoming, but he sold it. The California ranch sits on 228 acres and was bought for a mere $18 million.
Investments in Cleaning (In More Ways Than One)
Gates has invested in even more niche — and sometimes bizarre — markets than most of us realize. He may be a tech giant with an education and healthcare philanthropic streak, but he still has stocks in a lot of weird places.
Possible to Spend It All?
A lot of people have asked whether Bill Gates could possibly spend his billions, and several have even calculated an answer. Currently, his estimated worth is nearly $109 billion — that would be a lot of money to spend. Some financial experts have determined that if he were to spend $1 million every single day, it would take him 245 years to spend all that money.
Gates is a team player who works well with others, partially because he enjoys doing it. He has invested a lot on his own, but he also makes investments and branches out to work on projects with other people. In 2015, for example, he founded Breakthrough Energy with more than 20 other entrepreneurs.
Amyris is another company that Gates has given some money to over the years. Originally, he invested via the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with a purpose to help fund the company in its journey to create lower-cost technologies for making the compounds used in anti-malaria drug treatments.
Bill Gates obviously doesn't "own" Alzheimer's research, but he has put an awful lot of money into it over the years. Just in 2017, for example, he invested $50 million into research for the disease. He kept up the pattern and recently invested around $30 million — along with other investors — in something called the Diagnostics Accelerator, a fund to help diagnose Alzheimer's earlier than ever before.
One thing Gates doesn't own is a superyacht, but that's not a problem. He can always rent one, and he has been known to do exactly that. On one notable occasion, he treated his whole family to a lovely vacation in the Mediterranean on board a superyacht that he reportedly chartered for $5 million per week.
Tech geniuses can have a soft spot for nature too. Rumor has it Gates has a soft spot for one piece of nature in particular: a maple tree on his property in Washington. He has supposedly taken the tree under his wing, using technology to make sure it's properly taken care of at all times.