5 Billionaires Living Your Daydream

business, people, success and fortune concept - happy businessman with heap of dollar money in office

Imagine you have a BILLION dollars in your account right now…What would you do first? (After all the screaming and dancing, of course.) Would you buy mansion? What about a new Rolls Royce? Perhaps a first class flight around the world?

People love to drift off into the realm of fantasy and picture themselves living lavishly without a worry in the world. Some of these ideas of wealth and freedom can seem ridiculous. Maybe we justify the lavish life after being so exposed to it on TV and social media.

With so much attention given to the rich and famous, it’s hard not to daydream about how to spend your fantasy dollars. Top radio hits’ lyrics glamorize opulence and extravagant spending. Magazines feature multi-million dollar weddings and getaways. Billionaires within the United States are often household names, such as Mark Zuckerberg and Oprah Winfrey.

There are over 1,800 billionaires around the world now[1] and they are making our dreams into their own reality. Here are 5 billionaires that are committed to making their lives a lot more fun.


Roman Abramovich

1. Roman Abramovich

The word “orphan” makes you think of tatter clothes, dirty faces, and tons of money, right? –Oh, maybe not. Like Annie, multi-billionaire Roman Abramovich also made his way from parentless to filthy rich, except he waited longer than our favorite red-headed orphan. Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich became an orphan at two-years-old and was raised by his uncle, yet still found a way to be one of the richest men in the world.[2]

Anyone feeling bad about not having a college degree has another story to validate their choices. Not only was Abramovich an orphan, but also a college drop-out, like billionaires Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. If you’re taking notes on how to be a billionaire the Abramovich way, start looking into oil.  Abramovich’s wealth started from his success in the industry, particularly in export deals. How well, exactly, did he do? Well enough to have a net worth of $8 billion dollars. [3]

I guess with that much money, it’s no surprise that he ended up Governor of Chukotka, Russia. This wasn’t a task this billionaire took lightly; the man put $1 billion dollars of his own money into improving the state. [4] Besides the admiration of his constituents, Abramovich also possesses the Chelsea Football Club and a luxury car collection valued around $11 million dollars. [5]  If you think that’s extravagant, just wait until you see one of his best-know purchases: The Eclipse.

Sailing Too Close to the Sun

The Eclipse.

The Eclipse.

One of Abramovich’s favorite toys is probably his 533ft yacht, the Eclipse, which he bought in 2010.[6]  Why wouldn’t it be? It has two helipads, a three-person submarine, a disco ball, and two pools, one of which can be emptied and raised to transform into a dance floor. [7]

It’s not all fun and games on Abramovich’s water-friendly mansion. It also comes with a German missile defense system and bullet-proof windows in the master suite. With so many amenities, you can’t help but wonder which one is Abramovich’s favorite. Probably bragging rights to world’s largest yacht.

His yacht will last for years to come, but the bragging rights ended a few years later. The Azzam is now the largest yacht in the world. Must be hard falling from the top. Roman’s upbringing may have been one suited for an orphan, but this next billionaire has already made his daughter a multi-millionaire.

 2. Joseph Lau

"Joseph Lau" by estatesgazette licensed under CC BY 2.0

Photo by: estatesgazette


Joseph Lau is a billionaire from Hong Kong who made his fortune through real estate investing. His cash goes higher than any high-rise he’s invested in, as his net worth is a towering $12.8 billion. [8] That’s right, with a “b.” Joseph is the father to six children among 3 different women, however, one seems to outshine the rest. [9] Lau’s youngest daughter, Josephine, seems to have a hold on her father’s heart strings –or maybe just his purse strings.


Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend

Joseph Lau has gained some attention for his purchases of rare gems. In 2009, Lau dropped $9.5 million dollars to buy a diamond he would rename “Star of Josephine.” $9.5 million seems like a lifetime of cash to average folks, but Lau proved it’s billionaire chump change. Six years later, Lau bought a pink 16.08 carat diamond for $28.5 million dollars, which he renamed to be “Sweet Josephine.” [10]

If that was not surprising enough, the following day, Lau broke records for most expensive diamond sold. He did this with the purchase of a blue diamond, which he renamed “Blue Moon of Josephine.”[13] So how high did the bid go before the gavel came down? A whopping $48.4 million. [11] That totals Lau’s 2-day bling buying binge to $77 million dollars for the apple of his eye.


 Did we forget to mention that, at the time, Josephine was only seven-years-old? That means that Josephine has approximately $86.4 million dollars in rare diamonds, while still in primary school. For the sake of her fortune, let’s hope she doesn’t lose them at show-and-tell. With her father being one of the first owners of the $153 million dollar Boeing 757, she could probably show her class the world if she chose to.

Little Josephine’s age is not yet into double digits, yet she owns some of the rarest diamond in the world. [12] Josephine’s childhood sounds more like a princess fairy tale than reality. Our next billionaire shows that being rich royalty can be a reality.



3. Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud

Prince Alwaleed steers a boat while enjoying a day out at sea. Photo: Tribes of the World.

Prince Alwaleed steers a boat while enjoying a day out at sea. Photo: Tribes of the World.

Royal families seem limited to fairy tales and medieval history, but this is not the case in Saudi Arabia. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is a member of the royal family of Saudi Arabia. He works in a multitude of business sectors in the Middle East, from media to real estate.[13]

One of the most recent business ventures made by members of the royal family include a $26.1 million dollar investment for “Uber of jets,” according to the family website.  Should this business “take-off,” it would benefit the prince, who happens to owns one of the sweetest planes the sky has ever seen. Not only that, he made an order for the largest jet ever. Make way for the prince!

Fit for a King

With a total price of $500 million dollars, the order would be considered the most expensive plane in the world. Airbus claims that its A380 model, the same Prince Alwaleed bin Talal ordered, is “world’s largest commercial aircraft flying today.”[14]

The interior of the aircraft takes the phrase “fit for a king” to new heights. This flying palace is planned to be fitted with a garage, stable, and even a room for hawks. [15] Who needs hawks when they have a plane? Prince Alwaleed is who. He also owns a Boeing 757 which is so lavish, you can almost be showered with gold. Although liquid gold does not spew from the showerhead, the interior of the plane is detailed in gold.[16]

At 61, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is the richest man in the Middle East with a net worth of nearly $18 billion dollars, according to Forbes. A recent statement alludes that he may, in fact, be worth more than double. [17] Too bad he’ll no longer have any of it.

From Prince to Prosperous Pauper

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s self-claimed $32 billion dollar fortune will soon cease to be his own. He has decided to donate his entire fortune to his charitable organization, Alwaleed Philanthropies. [18] The prince announced a statement through his website concerning his pledge to donate. Has this man lost his mind or just every greedy bone in his body? He explains that, “…everyone goes through certain life-changing situations that have a great effect on his or her crucial future decisions. I have had the opportunity to witness, first hand, the challenging conditions of many communities across the globe, first hand, and have stood among those who were suffering and in great need.” [19]

Charity is not new to the Prince, as he has already donated billions to Alwaleed Philanthropies.[20] Although his fortune will be gone, don’t expect to see this prince begging on the street. With the amount of generosity bigger than his private plane, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud will still leave a mark on the world, even when his fortune leaves him. If you’re reading this on anything but a Mac, you’re going to need to thank our next high-roller.



4. Paul Allen

Don’t you hate when you work with someone and somewhere, somehow, you don’t get the credit you deserve? This might be how Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft feels. Your co-founder being the richest man in the world might leave a bad taste in your mouth, but a $19 billion net worth is sure to provide plenty of champagne to wash it out. [21]

Although Allen was involved technology most of his life, he defies the computer nerd stereotype by being an avid fan of sports. Loyal to his Seattle roots, Allen owns the Seattle Seahawks, as well as the Portland Trail Blazers.[22]  Further defying the stereotype, Allen loves to rock out with his collection of guitars, one of which was used by Jimi Hendrix. This guy is cooler than the other side of his Egyptian cotton-covered pillow.

Regardless of how hip some of Allen’s hobbies are, he still has a place in his heart (and wallet) for science.

Out-of-this-World Wonders

As a kid growing up in Washington, Allen dreamed of making a rocket that could take him to outer space. [23] Now that Allen is 63 with billions of dollars, the sky is the limit! Or should we say the start? Instead of launching puny rockets at the local park, the Microsoft co-founder fulfills his boyhood wonders by shooting rockets into space from enormous aircrafts. Stellar!  Allen’s boyhood fancies were not limited to out-of-this-world wonders.

Blast from the Past

World War II did not bring much good into the world, but it did bring some sick souped-up aircrafts.  Allen is sure to share this opinion, as he is the owner one of the largest collections of World War II planes. His wide range of fighter planes are all restored and fully-functional. Allen gave back to the community by making his private 31-piece collection of WWII planes and artifacts open to the public in 2004. [24] [25]

It seems Allen is not afraid to spend big bucks on aircrafts of all kinds, so it’s easy to let your mind run wild about the types of cars he must have. If you’re thinking any cars beyond the 90’s, you might be a little off. Admittedly, Allen opts for his Porsche when in Europe, however, he commonly drives a modest 1988 Mazda pickup truck. [26]. Allen proves that being a billionaire doesn’t mean you have to always spend like one. Kudos to Allen for his budgeting practices, but this next businessman will make him look wasteful.



5. Ingvar Kamprad

The next time you get into an argument with your significant other while building IKEA furniture, you can curse “Ingvar Kamprad” under your breath. If you feel incompetent building IKEA furniture, it might be insult to injury knowing the founder was only 17 when he created the popular furniture store.[27] Although Kamprad was a teenager when he started IKEA, his entrepreneurial spirit was around long before that.

As early as the age of six, Kamprad skipped finger-painting in favor of selling to matches to neighbors. As he grew, so did his sales and inventory, which ranged from fish to Christmas decorations by age 10. [28] Recently, Kamprad has fallen from the top 5 richest people in the world.

The 90-year-old gave away $17 billion dollars of his $23 billion dollars away due to tax issues. [29] According to one source, it seems that Ingvar created a foundation to run IKEA under in order to avoid taxes. Unfortunate to Kamprad, his lawyers informed him that it would not go to his personal wealth. Soon after, $17 billion dollars was given away to undisclosed sources.

Whether to applaud him for donating his money or shame him for avoiding taxes leave us as confused as his assembly instructions do. Will he have to give up a giant mansion, luxury car, or collection of fine suits? Probably not.


Rags and RichesIKEA sign on a wall

With such a significant loss of money, it would be easy to assume that Kamprad would have had to drastically change his lifestyle. If you did guess that, you would be

wrong. The 90-year-old Swede has cultivated an image of himself as practical and disinterested in extravagant items. In lieu of private jets
and multi-million dollar cars, Kamprad is known to fly economy and drive an old Volvo. The successful entrepreneur also stays humble by referring to employees as co-workers. [30] Some question if his thrifty appearance is actually as fake as IKEA’s wood.  It is rumored that he owns a large country estate in Sweden and appears cheap to keep a positive public image. [38] Next time you’re at IKEA, rolling your eyes about how slow that grandpa in front of you is shuffling, remember that he might be a billionaire -just in case you need another reason to help an old man with his bags.

Reverie to Reality

You may often daydream about making so much money that you never have to work again. Maybe you jump right back into to reality when you realize how unlikely it is to come true. What if, nevertheless, it did come true? There are almost 2,000 people alive today who had this daydream turn into a reality. If you were thrust into a life of riches, opulence, and luxury, what would you buy? This article provides just 5 billionaires and a few ways they have spent their fortune. Hopefully, this helps inspire and give insight to your answer. Next time you begin daydreaming about winning the lottery, think as big as Roman Abramovich, as loving as Joseph Lau, as generous at Prince Alwaleed, as loyal as Paul Allen, and as humbled as Ingvar Kamprad.