The society that the vast majority of people in the world live in means that money dominates much of our daily lives. Pretty much the only way to acquire goods or secure services is to pay an amount of cash in exchange. This has made money a much-wanted commodity that people try not to waste whenever possible. Families will generally try to save up and only spend what they have to in order to get the essentials.
Of course, everyone also likes to indulge in luxuries and the finer things in life from time to time. For most people this might involve getting some chocolate when they do their weekly shopping or perhaps buying a new piece of clothing for the weekend. In rarer instances, a person might even make a bit of a crazier purchase like an expensive gadget or an extravagant gift – even though they can often end up being a waste of money. The gadget might not work exactly as you expected or the clothes just may never get worn.
However, there are some people who have managed to waste insane amounts of cash with their purchases. Whether they are celebrities who just like throwing their money away or normal people who have made some rather bad financial decisions, these people have all found bizarre ways to relieve themselves of a large portion of their wealth.
15. Man Spent Life Saving On Advertising End Of The World
Robert Fitzpatrick, a 65-year-old resident of Staten Island, made headlines in 2011 when he sold his house and spent his entire life savings of some $140,000 advertising the end of the world that he expected to happen on May 21, 2011.
The man spent the money on posters and billboards on the Subway, at bus stops and other locations, carrying messages that informed people that doomsday was approaching. Fitzpatrick felt that the bible offered evidence that could not be dismissed, proving that the world would end on the specified date.
“Judgment Day will surprise people. We will not be ready for it,” Fitzpatrick said in an interview at the time. “A giant earthquake will render the earth uninhabitable. God’s people will be resurrected. It is also the day that God stops saving anyone.”
14. Lady Gaga Lost Millions On Crazy Costumes
Lady Gaga is known to wear imaginative and bizarre costumes thanks to her rather eccentric fashion sense. However, these infamous dresses don’t come cheap, putting the singer in several million dollars’ worth of debt in 2011 for her Monster’s Ball tour.
“Other than that I put everything in the show, and I actually went bankrupt after the first extension of the Monster Ball. And it was funny because I didn’t know!”
“And I remember I called everybody and said, ‘Why is everyone saying I have no money? This is ridiculous, I have five No. 1 singles’ — and they said, ‘Well, you’re $3m in debt.’”
Fortunately for her, the tour went on to make a staggering $150 million throughout its 18-month run, meaning that the musician didn’t end up losing out too much from her extravagant choice of costumes.
13. Floyd Mayweather Spends His Money On Insane Things
Floyd Mayweather has become one of the most iconic and recognizable sportsmen on the planet in the last decade. His record of going undefeated in his weight class and the draw of being able to bring in millions of dollars in box office receipts means that he is worth a small fortune – somewhere close to $300 million.
The boxer has also never been afraid of spending his money. He is constantly taking to social media to boast of his latest purchases and bets he has placed. This includes a $6 million watch collection, a diamond encrusted iPod, and a multitude of shoes. Most bizarre of all though is the fact that he spends almost $10,000/year, every year on underwear. This is because he only wears boxer shorts once, so he has to have a brand new pair every day.
12. Family Went Bankrupt Buying $100,000 Worth Of Beanie Babies
The plight of the Robinson family came to light following a documentary in 2013 called Bankrupt by Beanies. It told the story of how various members of the family had spent more than $100,000 collecting the stuffed animal toys, though had to declare bankruptcy when it became apparent that they no longer had any significant value. Chris Robinson explained in the documentary how the whole process had been a huge waste of money but did provide time for the family to bond.
“I’m mostly just apathetic to them at this point. I see the whole time period as one of bonding with my family, despite it being an extraordinary waste of money that would have been better spent on pretty much anything else. It was fun while it lasted, but then it was over and we got on with our lives.”
11. Elvis Paid $50,000 For A Sandwich
When you are as famous and rich as Elvis Presley was at the height of his fame, you could easily afford to spend $50,000 on a sandwich – even if such a figure seems outrageous for the vast majority of people who could get something similar for less than $10. In this instance, though, it was not the sandwich that was so expensive but rather than fact that Elvis flew from Graceland in Memphis directly to Denver simply to pick up some of the sandwiches as he wanted one right away.
Having gone to the Colorado Mine Company restaurant earlier in his career, the singer had developed a love of the food served there. In particular, he was a big fan of the Fool’s Gold Loaf, a sandwich filled with a pound of bacon and a jar each of peanut butter and grape jelly. While chatting about the food with some friends, Elvis decided he had to have one on the same night and flew to Denver aboard his private jet.
10. Youngest Ever Lottery Winner Wasted Entire Fortune
Callie Rogers was the youngest ever jackpot winner of the National Lottery when she won almost $3 million at the age of just 16. Unfortunately, her young age and the fact that she came from a broken background meant that she wasted the vast majority of the fortune over the coming years. As well as buying a number of cars, she spent an estimated $500,000 on alcohol and cocaine over the course of several years as she partied with friends. By 2013, she had just $3000 left of the winnings.
“I can’t believe ten years have passed since I stood holding that huge cheque,” said the lottery winner in 2013. “It feels like a lifetime ago. I don’t think of myself as a lottery winner – I try to forget the ups and downs I’ve been through and just feel like a normal person. It was too much money for someone so young. Even if you say your life won’t change, it does – and often not for the better.”
9. George Barber Had Giant Dinosaur Statues Built
George Barber is a billionaire who is a former race car driver and also owned Barber’s Dairy before selling his share of stock. Several years ago, he donated $70 million to build the Barber Motorsports Park and the Vintage Motorsports Museum, two facilities that contain memorabilia and vehicles from motor racing history. It contains some 1,400 motorcycles and a vast number of other cars and vehicles.
However, a large amount of that donation was also paid to the artist Mark Cline, so that he could create a series of sculptures to be placed throughout the park. These included large life-size dinosaurs, a recreation of Stonehenge, a huge spider, and even a giant skeleton. These seem like a strange thing to include in a facility dedicated to motorsport.
8. Man Lost Life Savings On Carnival Game
In 2013, 30-year-old Henry Gribbohm made headlines around the United States when it emerged that he had spent his life savings of almost $3,000 on a carnival game. According to the man himself, he had initially spent $300 trying to win an Xbox Kinect console for his son but had then gone home to retrieve a further $2,300 in an attempt to win the prize he wanted.
Unfortunately for him, he was unable to win any significant prize and organizers at the carnival were unable to give him back the money he had spent. Instead, they refunded just $600 and gave him a giant inflatable banana with dreadlocks as a consolation prize.
Gribbohm made a complaint to police as he felt that the person running the Tubs of Fun game had misled him. “They explained to me I was going to get all my money back,” Gribbohm said. “I was going to get an Xbox Kinect… They lied to me.”
7. Howard Hughes Bought A Casino Because A Light Bothered Him
Howard Hughes is widely regarded as one of the richest people to have ever lived. The entrepreneur had a number of highly successful businesses that allowed him to earn billions of dollars. This allowed him to go on a notorious spending spree in Las Vegas, where he lived, where he bought a number of buildings and casinos.
One of these was notable because Hughes was not actually all that interested in the Sliver Slipper but was annoyed by a large neon sign that was constantly glaring in his bedroom window on Las Vegas Boulevard. According to reports from the time, the businessman purchased the building so he could turn off the sign and stop a giant rotating slipper that he thought might be being used to spy on him.
6. Nicolas Cage Wasted $150 Million And Went Bankrupt
Although Nicolas Cage was one of the most successful actors working in Hollywood during the 1990s, he ran into a string of financial difficulties in more recent times. These were largely the result of his exuberant spending habits that saw him spending millions of dollars on things that he really did not need.
Some of the biggest wastes came in the form of a private island, a haunted murder mansion, and a collection of shrunken heads. He even outbid Leonardo DiCaprio to a skull of a 67 million-year-old Tyrannosaurus Rex, paying a whopping $276,000.
Unfortunately, it turned out that the skull had actually been stolen from Mongolia by a criminal called Eric Prokopi. This man had conned hundreds of museums and galleries into buying stolen fossils and one of those items was the skull that Cage purchased.
5. Sheikh Hamad Had His Name Carved Into The Planet
Sheikh Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan might not be well known to many in the Western world, yet he created a mark for himself in 2011 when he spent an inordinate amount of money to have his name written in the sand of Abu Dhabi. The member of the Abu Dhabi Royal family went to extraordinary lengths.
This is because he wanted to ensure that his name could actually be seen from space. Laborers from Pakistan and Bangladesh spent months carving out a series of canals that stretched half a mile wide and 2 miles in length. Several of the letters were filled with water to give them a more distinctive color, though it was eventually covered up for an unknown reason in 2014.
4. Curt Schilling Lost $50 Million On A Video Game Studio
Curt Schilling had plenty of interests outside of baseball during his career and he carried many of them into business dealings when he retired from professional sport. One of these interests was video gaming and the former baseball player actually set up his own developer in the form of 38 Studios – named after his jersey number.
The studio was only able to develop one game during its six-year lifespan between 2006 and 2012, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. While the title received widespread critical acclaim and was moderately successful, managing to sell one million copies, it still couldn’t make enough to keep the company afloat. In the end it went bankrupt and Schilling lost $50 million from the venture.
3. Allen Iverson Bought A New Wardrobe Every Away Game
One of the worst things about having to travel around is the packing that you have to go through so that you have something to wear when you reach your destination. This is obviously a problem that professional basketball player Allen Iverson, also thought was a huge issue as he came up with a rather unique, and grossly expensive, way of avoiding packing, whilst still having an extensive wardrobe to choose from.
For every away game, Iverson would simply buy brand new clothes as soon as he got off the plane. This meant he did not have to carry around luggage and could pick new items to wear whenever he arrived at a destination. It was also a huge waste of money as he would leave everything behind in the team hotel on the way back to the airport, essentially just throwing away cash.
2. Larry Ellison Paid Someone To Collect Basketballs That Fell Off His Boat
Larry Ellison is an American businessman and entrepreneur who is worth an estimated $50 billion. He is also a lover of basketball and has tried to buy a number of different NBA teams over the years. In fact, he loves the sport to such an extent that he has installed basketball courts and hoops on a number of his yachts so that he can play even when he is at sea entertaining guests or vacationing.
However, there is one problem with shooting hoops on a yacht, any missed shot or deflection could lead to the ball going overboard. Ellison solved this problem in a rather expensive manner. Rather than just keep an extra supply of basketballs, he paid a man to follow his yacht with a powerboat so that he could retrieve any ball that fell off into the sea.
1. Kim Basinger Bought A Georgian Town She Had To Sell
At the height of her fame, Kim Basinger was regarded as one of the most popular actresses and models in the world. She was also interested in several business ventures, one of which resulted in her buying most of a 500-person town in Georgia called Braselton. The 1,751 acres of land was to be turned into a tourist attraction and become the venue for a new film festival.
The actress ran into financial difficulties not long after purchasing the majority of the town due to a family rift that caused a number of problems for her. Combined with a controversial lawsuit resulting from her pulling out of filming Boxing Helena, which she lost, meant that she had to sell most of the land she had purchased without carrying out any of the planned work. This cost her several million as much of the property was sold at a loss.