The Incredible Ways Bill Gates Spent His Billions

What would you do with $96 billion dollars? It’s a “problem” we probably won’t have to deal with, but it’s exactly what computer mogul Bill Gates is worth. Fortunately, Gates is a man who understands that if you’ve got that kind of cash coming in you’ve got to spread it around — he donates most of his earnings to charity.

Still, Gates has managed to treat himself and his family to a comfortable lifestyle. Since the late ’80s, early ’90s Bill Gates has been ahead of the tech game, garnishing his home and life with the coolest gadgets. Check out how’s he’s tricked out his house, and the other ways he spends his moolah.

1. Medina, Washington estate ($123 million): He purchased a plot of land for $2 million back in 1988. It took him 7 years and $63 million, but he built a 66,000 square foot home filled with tech gadgets. The home is estimated to be worth $123 million now! 

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Below Gates sit in the house that he and his family live in on the estate. Nicknamed Xanadu 2.0 just this house alone is valued at $63 million. It was inspired by the fictional home of Charles Foster Kane from the 1941 film Citizen Kane

 Over the 7 years that it took Gates to complete, 500,000 board feet of lumber was needed to complete the project. A few 500-year-old Douglas fir trees were used in the construction. The build required over 300 workers, not counting the 100 electricians! 

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Gates is an avid reader so, naturally, he has a large book collection. His personal library cost $60 million to build and fill. It is 2,100 square feet and has two secret bookcases, one of which leads to a private bar. The library is off limits except to invited guests.

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The banquet hall at Xanadu is nothing to sneeze at either! It is 2,300 square feet. It can accommodate around 150 people sitting down or about 200 people standing at a cocktail party. The room is adorned with a 6-foot wide limestone fireplace and a 22-foot wide video screen.

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Gates made sure that there were more than adequate amenities throughout the house. There are 24 bathrooms, 10 of which are full baths. The house is also equipped with 6 different kitchens.

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What’s a massive mansion without its own movie theatre? The screening room can accommodate up to 20 people in plush seats and couches. The room is decorated in an art deco style. There is even a popcorn machine! 

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Gates even negotiated the removal of a preexisting home to build an activities building. This 900 square foot structure also houses their trampoline room. Altogether, there are about 2,500 square feet of exercise space on the property.

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What you see isn’t all that you get with this estate. A special garage was built underground out of concrete and stainless steel to house part of Gates’ massive car collection. The concrete was purposefully broken to give it a rough look. This garage alone can hold 10 cars.

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He’s a tech mogul, so obviously, gadgets matter to Gates. Whenever a guest stays at the house, they will be given a special pin that is unique to them. The pin interacts with sensors in the house, which controls the temperature, music, and lighting of any room.

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But just because he invested in tech, doesn’t mean he let the arts languish! Gates spent $230,000 to create a digital art center where the artwork changes to each guest’s style. Behind each picture frame is flat-panel picture display, which controls what artwork is visible. 

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His art collection isn’t all digital either! His art collection is valued at $93.5 million! Outside his library is an original Winslow Homer worth $36 million. Inside the library is an original Childe Hassam painting, which was purchased for $20 million.

Childe Hassam via YouTube

2. Rancho Paseana in Rancho Santa Fe, California ($18 million): In October of 2014, Gates purchased a horse ranch from weight loss guru Jenny Craig for $18 million. The 228-acre ranch comes equipped with an office, 3/4 mile race track, vet suite, guest house, orchard, and 5 barns.

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3. Horse ranch in Wellington, Florida ($8.7 million): Jennifer Gates, daughter to Bill Gates, is a huge equestrian. The family would rent out this property when she had competitions in the area. In 2013, they purchased the ranch for $8.7 million — just mere pocket change for the Gates family.

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4. Cascade Investments ($55 million): In 1995, Gates started an investment firm. Since then, the company has bought the Charles Hotel, half of the Four Seasons chain, and partially bought the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco, California for $161 million. Michael Larson now manages the company.

5. Codex Leicester ($30.8 million): Among his book collection is the 16th century Leonardo Da Vinci manuscript that he purchased in 1994 for $30.8 million. The book is a compilation of scientific writings handwritten and illustrated by Da Vinci himself.

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6. Private jet ($40 million): Gates told Ellen Degeneres that he rarely buys things that are over the top and felt he had only done this twice in his life before. One was when he purchased a Bombardier BD700 Global Express jet for $40 million.

 The jet can seat 19 people, making it the second largest private cabin. There are three different sections to the plane, including a club section.

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7. Porsche 959 ($250,000): The second item that Gates felt was an extravagant purchase was his Porsche. He purchased this shortly after becoming a billionaire. When it first came out on the market, it cost $250,000.

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 The speedster can go from zero to 60 in just three seconds. Its top speed registers at 195 miles per hour. Because the Gates car is no longer being manufactured and is now a collector’s item, it’s worth up to $10 million!

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