They say you live to your means (or beyond them in some cases), and billionaires are no exception. While many of us are forced to look for the best deals around with help from Moneysupermarket.com, for the lucky few, money is no object. So what’s top of a billionaire’s shopping list? Here’s our top must have toys, and the billionaires who purchased them:
Business magnate Donald Trump owns a Boeing 757. Fairly standard you might think for a billionaire, but the Trump 757 was bought from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen for a mere $100 million. Not content with the already luxurious jet, Trump gave it an ostentatious make over with suede ceilings and gold fixtures and fittings, including gold leaf seatbelts.
Also up in the air, you might spot the Gulfstream V owned by Mark Cuban, the TV and sports mogul. This plane set a record at its time of purchase for being the priciest e-commerce transaction ever.
Russian businessman Roman Abramovich’s yacht, the Eclipse, is worth over £293.5 million and comes complete with a pool, a spa and even a missile-detection system – presumably in case things go awry on the high seas.
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has around £8.4 billion pounds to his name and also has good taste in yachts. At 400-feet long, the Octopus yacht has the capacity to safely land two helicopters.
Another boat of interest is the 95-metre Qatari royal vessel owned by Vijay Mallya, which features its own artwork collection, sauna and spa treatment cabins.
Author, restaurateur and philanthropist Samuel Truett Cathy owns the Batmobile. The caped crusader’s legendary vehicle came straight from the set of 1992 movie “Batman Returns” and cost a mere $250,000.
Somewhat more practical is the Sultan of Brunei’s Rolls Royce, which at the price of over £9.1 million is the most expensive car in the world. The Sultan calls it the “Star of India”.
Unusual and rare gadgets are commonplace in billionaire homes… Virgin Group founder Richard Branson owns Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands. This may not sound like a gadget but the Necker Nymph submarine can be used to explore the waters surrounding the island and can be rented from Branson for $25,000 per week.
Branson also has his own spaceship, which is based in New Mexico and will transport paying customers in to orbit in the near future.
Russia’s third richest man, Mikhail Prokhorov owns a lot of cool toys including a basketball team that he bought for $200 million. A fan of extreme sports he has a custom made virtual ski machine in his well-equipped gym.
Un-disputed king of the billionaire big spenders, the Sultan of Brunei has his own $3 billion theme park. The Sultan once had Michael Jackson perform for his family at the Jerudong Park which is now open to the public.
The inside of Bill Gates’ Washington mansion is shrouded in secrecy, but rumour has it that his gadget-laden home features a giant aquarium, automatic lighting and music played from speakers hidden beneath the wallpaper in every room, library, sports club, beach, underground theatre and state-of-the-art security system.
In terms of exclusivity, you can’t get much more exclusive than Victoria Beckham’s gold IPhone, made especially for her by Apple
Billionaires love original artwork, and you can’t get much bigger than Damien Hirst’s shark-` a piece of modern art owned by Steven Cohen, the SAC Capital Advisor. The 4.3m Tiger Shark preserved in formaldehyde was reportedly sold to Cohen for an estimated $8 million.
Son of designer beauty queen Estee Lauder, Ronald Lauder owns a Klimt portrait purchased for roughly $135 million. This could make it the most expensive piece of art ever purchased, with Picasso’s “Boy With a Pipe (the Young Apprentice)” holding the number 2 spot.
Making his second appearance on our billionaire run-down is Bill Gates, owner of the Codex Leicester- one of the journals written by Leonardo da Vinci.
It won’t come as any great surprise that Steven Spielberg has an extensive collection of original movie memorabilia. Although spoilt for choice with collectibles from his own selection of movie blockbusters, Spielberg reportedly paid around $60,000 for the sled used in 1941 Orson Welles classic “Citizen Kane”.