Making a billion dollars isn’t easy, but it is easy to blow it all away in a heartbeat. Issues, family problems, gambling problems, you name it – there’s plenty of excuses and reasons. I guess sharing isn’t an option, so let’s take a look at the list of 10 billionaires that had it all and lost it just the same. Well, not really!
10. Vince McMahon
Mcmahon was a promoter, announcer, and occasional wrestler in the pro-wrestling circuit. He also ran a number of pro-wrestling leagues, becoming the majority owner of the premier pro-wrestling league, known as the WWE. But, he lost about $700 million when shares in WWE plummeted after McMahon signed a television deal with NBCUniversal. Bad call, dude!
9. Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson
Gudmundsson was a former football player that made a good deal of money in the beverage business. He also acted as chairperson and owner of both the West Ham United Football Club and the Icelandic bank Landsbanki. However, the Icelandic banking crisis in 2008 hurt a lot of wealthy men and women; that, coupled with some bookkeeping offenses cost him a considerable amount of money in court. This is why he went from one of the richest people in the world in March of 2008, to broke by December of the same year.
8. T. Boone Pickens
Pickens made his money in natural gas and big oil; he also dipped his hands into corporate acquisitions and seemed to have an eye towards acquiring companies and turning that to profit. Pickens is also a known philanthropist – he has given away nearly a billion dollars – and has signed The Giving Pledge, to give away half of their money. Since he is also into clean wind energy, I’m guessing that about explains it.
7. Manoj Bhargava
Manoj made by working of jobs and working hard at all of them. He managed to start a plastics company, which became a $20 million business. Most of his riches were acquired from his start-up company Living Essentials, which makes the 5-hour Energy beverage. But, after a number of heart attack deaths were reportedly linked to the popular energy shot, sales and stock plummeted. Hence the loss in cash.
6. Allen Stanford
Stanford bought depressed real estate and sold it when the market bounced back. After that, he went on to get into finance and made money as a financier and sponsor of professional sports. But, it wasn’t long until it was discovered that his entire investment company was the focus point of his Ponzi Scheme. He was convicted and is serving a 110 year prison sentence as a result.
5. Patricia Kluge
Patricia Kluge was once known as the “Wealthiest Divorcee in History” after splitting with media mogul John Kluge. But her wealth was lost after hosting parties for the wealthy and elite on her newly acquired 300-acre estate. Also, her decision to use the acreage for a vineyard where she could make and bottle her own wine wasn’t really an inspired one.
4. Olav Thon
Olav Thon started a real estate and hotel business; he became so successful that he wound up being the single richest person in Norway with a net worth of $6 billion in 2013. However, the guy donated a large sum of money to a charity and also donated the ownership of his entire empire to his own charitable foundation. How’s that for sharing?
3. Alberto Vilar
Vilar obtained a Masters Degree in Economics, which helped him start an investment firm and invest in technology funds. But, after he donated a lot of money to opera houses, classical music, and ballet he still didn’t manage to hide the fact that he was a fraud. Vilar had been laundering money and participating in securities fraud, mail and wire fraud. Who knew, right?
2. Sean Quinn
Quinn is a business man. In Ireland he made money in the hospital industry, hotels, radiators, plastics, and bank investment. But Quinn bought shares in the Anglo Bank as well as invest in Contracts For Difference. The shares went down, so he was hit for five times his initial investment. Sorry, dude!
1. J.K. Rowling
Rowling is a renowned author, mostly due to the popularity of her Harry Potter books and film franchises. However, she simply gave enough away to charity that it put her under the billionaire mark. That, combined with Britain’s rough taxes, had a nasty effect on her budget.
These Millionaires & Billionaires Lost Everything, too ! watch it