What Do Rich People Buy?

If you’re rich and famous, it seems like spending big is a must. However, dollars and sense are two very different things. Humble country boy and Houston Texans star J.J. Watt, just a signed a six-year, $100 million NFL contract, and when asked what he would spend the money on, he had to Google “what do rich people buy?”. Inspired by J.J.’s question, we bring you some of the most ridiculous purchases of the rich and famous.


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Evander Holyfield – 109 Room Palatial Mansion

evander holyfield mansion

Back in ’94 former boxing world champ, Evander Holyfield bought a big ol’ house that perfectly epitomises ill-considered celebrity purchases. To put things in perspective, Holyfield’s crib was just 1000 square feet smaller than the White House and boasts 109 rooms, 17 bathrooms, 3 kitchens, a bowling alley, movie theatre and an Olympics sized swimming pool.

Although Holyfield made over $200 million during his boxing career, ruthless spending, 11 children and baby momma dramas saw him spiral into more than $14 million in debt, forcing the bank to foreclose on his house.

The house got sold, Holyfield has been kicked out and apparently, he’s back living with his mom.

Lesson Learned: If your job requires that you receive repeated blows to the head, you’re probably not the best person to look after your own finances. Seek professional advice.

Rick Ross – 109 Room Palatial Mansion (Previously Owned by Evander Holyfield)

rick ross mansion

This year Rick Ross picked up Evander Holyfield’s black hole foreclosed mansion at an auction for $5.8 million. Holyfield once claimed that the home cost more than $1 million annually to maintain, with an electricity bill of $17,000 a month alone. It’s now 2 years down the line and that annual maintenance will probably be more and with a reported net worth of $35 million we wish Rick all the best and hope he will have a long happy stay in the mansion.

Lesson Learned: One man’s loss is another man’s gain. But make sure your income is greater than the cost of your home’s maintenance.

Nicolas Cage – An Island

nic cage island

For celebrities, privacy is a problem that can only be solved by throwing money at it. Nicolas Cage was not the first one to do it but this adds up to his eccentric list of ridiculous buys. He purchased the Bahamian island of Leaf Cay for $3 million in 2006. We can’t tell you if he actually uses it for a holiday or just to keep memorabilia he acquired from the set of Con Air, but what we can tell you is that his island is just a short paddle from Jonny Depp’s island.

Lesson learned: If the rude people with the noisy children always beat you to your beach spot, buy your own island.

Nicolas Cage – A Medieval Castle

nic cage medieval castle

Perhaps one of the most dreamed-of wishes of young boys and girls is owning your very own castle. Then we grow old and come to the heartbreaking realisation that it’ll never happen. But once again Nicolas Cage shows us how it’s done. When the man goes on holiday he goes all out, and spending time away from everyone seems to be his thing. He bought a castle in Germany and in Somerset just to sell it again later. At least in his Somerset castle, he enjoyed “a Dickensian Christmas”.

Lesson learned: If you want to live like a king, buy yourself a castle.

Nicolas Cage – A Pyramid Shaped Tomb

nic cage tomb

Nicolas Cage is only 50 years old but is still living by the motto of ‘live fast, die young’, so it is probably for the best that he gets the tombstone ready. Like the Egyptian pharaohs, Cage decided he will spend the afterlife in a 9-foot tall pyramid shaped super tomb in New Orleans. Let’s hope there will be tomb raiders looking for lost artefacts in there.

Lesson learned: When you have the dough, go out is style!

Nicolas Cage – A $1 Million Comic Book Collection

nic cage comic

Nicolas Cage is really trying to spend as much money as humanly possible. He owns a collection of comic books with a net worth of over $1 million. He once owned a comic where within Superman made his first appearance. He bought it in 1997 for $ 110 000 and then sold it in 2011 for $2.16 million. Sometimes it pays to be a geek.

Lesson learned: If you want to grow your fortune, choose your investments wisely.

Prince Azim of Brunei – $6 Million Jewellery for Mariah Carey

prince azim of brunei

How do you win your lady’s heart? Maybe you could try and buy it? Prince Azim is known for his lavish parties and high profile friends. Currently, he is fourth in line for the throne, but that did not stop him from presenting Mariah Carey with jewellery worth over $6 million, at a party, back in 1996. According to many, it is from his generous nature and he did not make a pass at Mariah (yeah right). In that case, where is my Ferrari Azim?

Lesson learned: Money can buy you friends, but never buy jewellery for a girl you’re not sleeping with.

Kim Basinger – A Small Town

kim basinger braselton

Way back in 1989 Kim Basinger had the thought that she wouldn’t act for her entire life and wanted to try something else that she could perhaps look back at a few years later and say, “Behold”. So the prospecting business woman she was, bought a small town in the state of Georgia, which at that time had a population of about 400 people. This only cost her $20 million and the idea was to turn the place in a tourist attraction. Five years later, facing personal bankruptcy, she sold the town at a large loss.

Lesson learned: If you plan a career in business, first learn some of the basics principles of business. Oh yes, and don’t buy a town.

Mike Tyson – Bengal Tiger

mike tyson bengal tiger

This isn’t a scene from the Hangover movie, Mike Tyson did, in fact, buy a Bengal tiger. In fact, he bought three. This endangered specimen consumes about 40lb of meat a day and at the current price of meat would cost him about $60 000. The cost of each tiger alone was $70 000. He eventually sold them in favour of pets that were less costly to own.

Lesson learned: A cat may not be a tiger but it is a hell of a lot cheaper. Just because you can afford an expensive pet does not mean you have to do it. 

Mike Tyson – $2 Million Bath Tub

mike tyson bathtub

You gotta love Mike. This man is so generous that he bought his wife (now ex) a bathtub worth $2 million. Two questions come to mind. Was he high when he did it? And what the hell can be in a bathtub that is worth $2 million? Does gold really bathe differently than acrylic?

Lesson learned: When you give an expensive present to your wife, you better make sure you work on your marriage or else the divorce will cost you a lot more.

Lady Gaga – Ghost Machine

lady gaga

Thanks to a gullible-but-rich Lady Gaga, someone else is smiling with an extra $50,000 in their bank account. The pop star bought an EMR or Electro Magnetic Field Reader that can supposedly detect the magnetic signatures of ghosts and spirits. I mean who wants to stay in the haunted room right? The gadget was most likely a prop someone stole from the Ghost Hunters warehouse. We are still waiting to hear if she actually detected anything.

Lesson learned: When there’s something strange, in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call?… No one, if you’re rich enough to afford ghost machine. 

Bono – Airplane Seat For His Hat – 1st Class

bono cowboy hat

Just when I thought the humanitarian, U2 front-man, Bono would not spend money on something ridiculous, he had to go and prove me wrong. Upon arriving in Italy for a concert, he discovered he left his favourite hat at home. There must have been no hats left in Italy because he bought a first class plane ticket for his hat to flown to the concert location. Really, first class?

Lesson learned: A hat is the most important part of an outfit, even if you’re not a magician.

Michael Jackson – A Chimp Named “Bubbles”

michael jackson with 'bubbles' his chimpanzee

Sometimes money is spent on good deeds. Michael Jackson bought Bubbles, a chimpanzee from a Texas research facility in the early 1980’s, which became his favourite travel companion. The chimp slept in a crib in Jackson’s room in Neverland and lived a child-like existence, arguably much happier than the life he would have lived in the research facility. But as with all wild animals, in 2003 Bubbles’ aggressive animal instincts crept back and became unsuitable as a companion. He lived out the rest of his days in an ape sanctuary.

Lesson learned: No matter how much money you have, a wild animal will always be a wild animal.

Michael Jackson – Neverland Ranch

michael jackson neverland ranch

Michael Jackson set the bar with a big property purchase back in 1988 when he bought his Neverland. Named after the fantasy island in the story Peter Pan, this ranch is approximately 1214 hectares and although reports are unclear, he paid between $16.5 to $30 million for the property. Besides the big mansion, he had his own private amusement park which included two railroads. But as all fairy tales go, you always end up owning the big bad bank and he sold the majority of the stake he had in Neverland.

Lesson learned: No matter how much money you have, it always seems to dry up when excessively lavish property investment is involved.

Paris Hilton – Dog Mansion Costing $325,000

Paris Hilton designed a house for all her unoriginally named dogs. Well designed is perhaps not the right word as she basically got the dog house builders to make a copy of her own place. Full of originality this one. The house had the same price tag as a Ferrari but lacks the class. We do give her credit for keeping her dogs warm, but I suppose dressing up a Chihuahua in a pink sweater is a form of animal cruelty.

Lesson learned: If your dog’s house is worth more than your own home, you know you have more than enough cash.


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