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1.) The British millionaire who traded his mansion
for a mud hut after being adopted by tribe in Kenya

Most people return from Kenya with photos of giraffes and lions, and tales of their time on safari. But one millionaire has come back with the title of elder of a Masai tribe. Graham Pendrill is the first white person to gain such an honour from the group after solving a potentially violent inter-tribal dispute while on a month-long trip to the East African country last year…

During the official ceremony, Mr Pendrill had to drink bull’s urine and had a cow sacrificed in his honour. Since returning, he has worn his Masai clothes while going about his business in his home town of Almondsbury, near Bristol, UK. The 57-year-old bachelor, who was given the tribal name Siparo meaning ‘brave one’, often wanders down his local High Street wearing nothing but a robe and sandals. ‘People can call me eccentric – it doesn’t bother me,’ he said. ‘When I got home my ordinary clothes just felt odd. ‘I’ve had some sideways looks and a difficult moment in a Bristol pub, but most people are polite,’ he added. Mr Pendrill, an antiques dealer, has given his suits to Oxfam and plans to sell his £1.2million mansion so he can move to Kenya to live in a mud hut with the Masai later this year. ‘I’ve developed a huge respect and affection for the people there. It’s a real honour to be an elder,’ he said. (Link)

2.) The millionaire who opened a Nobel Prize sperm bank to create a master race

In 1980, millionaire optometrist Robert Clark Graham opened a sperm bank stocked with “donations” from the world’s smartest men. The Repository for Germinal Choice, located in an underground bunker in San Diego, aimed to collect sperms from Nobel Laureates, which earned it the nickname “Nobel Prize Sperm Bank”. But the scarcity of donors and the low viability of their sperm (because of age) forced Graham to develop a looser set of criteria. These criteria were numerous and exacting: for example, sperm recipients were required to be married, and male donors were required to have extremely high IQs, though the bank later softened this policy so it could recruit athletes for donors as well as scholars.

By 1983, Graham’s sperm bank was reputed to have 19 repeat genius donors, including William Bradford Shockley (1956 Nobel Prize in Physics and proponent of eugenics) and two anonymous Nobel Prize winners in science.

When the Repository for Germinal Choice closed after Graham’s death 1999, there were 229 babies none of which was fathered by Nobel Prize winners. So far, none of these kids had grown up to win the Nobel Prize either. (Link 1Link 2Via)

3.) The first Second Life (virtual) millionaire

Millionaires usually make their money in banking, playing the stock market or in big business. Ailin Graef has changed all that. The former Chinese language teacher has just joined the millionaire’s club – but is the first person to do so thanks to profits from a virtual world. Ms Graef has built up a massive property empire in Second Life, an online 3D world where users live and socialise as they would in reality.

Her online equivalent (known as an avatar), Anshe Chung, buys large blocks of lands, improves them by adding housing and then sells them to other users for a handsome profit.

Since joining the game in 2004 she has amassed a fortune of almost 300 million Linden dollars (the game’s currency). Uniquely, these dollars can be exchanged into real US dollars at online currency exchanges. With the rate at around L$275 to US$1, she has become a millionaire. Although she lives near Frankfurt in Germany, Ms Graef has set up an office in Wuhan, China, employing ten programmers to help ‘develop’ the online land she later sells to other users. (LinkVia)

4.) The millionaire who decided to give away his entire fortune because he was unhappy

Karl Rabeder grew up poor and thought that life would be wonderful if he had money. But when he got rich, Karl discovered that he was unhappy, so he decided to give away every penny of his £3 million fortune: “My idea is to have nothing left. Absolutely nothing,” he said. “Money is counterproductive – it prevents happiness to come.”

On the block, or already sold, is his luxury villa with a lake in the Alps, his 42-acre estate in France, his six gliders, and the interior furnishings and accessories business that got him rich in the first place. Instead, he will move out of his luxury Alpine retreat into a small wooden hut in the mountains or a simple bedsit in Innsbruck. His entire proceeds are going to charities he set up in Central and Latin America, but he will not even take a salary from these. (LinkVia)

5.) The millionaire dog who was a trust fund of over $300 millions

Sure, there will always be people who have more money than you, but did you realize that some pets do, too? Meet Gunther IV, the German Shepherd, world’s richest dog. This dog actually received his inheritance from his father, Gunther III, a German Shepherd who received an inheritance from Karlotta Liebenstein, a German countess. Gunther IV has bought a Miami villa from Madonna and won a rare white truffle in an auction. He’s worth about $372 million right now, thanks to his growing trust fund. (LinkVia)

6.) The millionaire who was accused of defecating on the sidewalk in front of cafes

For years they wondered who was behind the unique calling card. To unmask the shopping strip’s midnight-to-dawn caller, a North Ryde restaurateur who had borne the brunt of the deposits took the matter into his own hands. Someone was leaving behind human faeces on his pavement.

The restaurateur installed a surveillance camera and the footage led police to charge 71-year-old millionaire property owner Salvatore ”Sam” Cerreto with willful and obscene exposure and offensive behaviour. Mr Cerreto, from Marsfield, is alleged to have personally dropped off the package. He was allegedly captured on camera walking to the tenant’s restaurant with a ream of toilet paper, pulling his pants down, squatting and defecating. Mr Cerreto’s property portfolio includes a building that is home to 13 street-front businesses.

For four years food outlets complained to police of similar discoveries. The affected tenants – who were relieved at the arrest – include operators of restaurants, cafes, delis, a hairdressing salon and a pathology centre. Police said officers had received complaints from cafe owners and restaurateurs in the commercial centre about someone defecating intermittently on their doorsteps, or on the pavement outside their premises. The deposits included excrement wrapped in paper, which was left on door handles or in flower beds near outdoor seating. (Link)

7.) The millionaire who decided to buy his own town

Fast cars and flash jewellery are the usual perks of the millionaire. But Scott Alexander has just splashed out on the ultimate status symbol – his own town. The 31-year-old lifestyle and property tycoon is turning a Bulgarian coastal town into a holiday hotspot for British tourists – and naming it after himself. ‘The name is really hard to pronounce. I’ve decided to call it Alexander, which I suppose is quite cheeky.’ Mr Alexander – who is single and lives in a penthouse apartment in Manchester – bought the town from a Bulgarian entrepreneur for £3 million. The identity of the place is being kept a secret until the deal is completed.

Mr Alexander’s company, Ultimate Lifestyle Group Incorporated, has a staff of 60, offers personal training and arranges cosmetic surgery, property and cars for celebrities. Past clients include Tom Cruise, who Mr Alexander helped train for his role in Mission Impossible III. He was featured in Britain’s TV Show ‘Biggest Spenders’ and often quoted as being “the most vain man in Britain”. (Link)

8.) The nurse who became a millionaire but decided not to quit her job

A nurse who won £1 million live on TV said she would not give up her £25,000 job. The money will change my lifestyle but it won’t change me. Coronary care nurse Karen Shand, 40, will carry on working at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, Fife, despite winning the jackpot on ITV1’s The Vault. Ms Shand won the cash after ringing the show ‘on the spur of the moment’ and answering six questions correctly. It was the largest amount ever won on live TV at that time. (Link)

9.) The homeless billionaire

Meet Nicholas Berggruen, a homeless billionaire. You read that right. Nicholas is worth billions but doesn’t even own a home (he stays in hotels) because he’s lost all interest in acquiring things. After making his billions, Mr. Berggruen, 46, lost interest in acquiring things: They didn’t satisfy him, and in fact had become something of a burden. So he started paring down his material life, selling off his condo in New York, his mansion in Florida and his only car. He hatched plans to leave his fortune to charity and his art collection to a new museum in Berlin.

For him, wealth is about lasting impact, not stuff. Forbes magazine estimated Berggruen’s net worth at $2.2 billion as of 2010. (Link 1Link 2Via)

10.) The millionaire whose daughter works at McDonald’s to learn the value of money

The Thai prime minister sent his daughter to work at McDonald’s. The billionaire even turned up to buy burgers from his 17-year-old daughter Paethongtan, the youngest of his three children, on her first day as a part-time employee after taking her university entrance examinations.

Her first task was to learn how to operate the cash register, but she will also learn to flip burgers. ‘In developed countries, children usually work while they study to gain experience and to appreciate the value of money and how to spend it,’ Thaksin said.’ Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra himself worked at KFC fastfood outlet while studying in the US.

Dej Bulsuk, president of McThai who operates the McDonald’s fastfood outlets in Thailand, said: “The prime minister came to me to personally ask if I could give his daughter a part-time job during the school holidays, the Premier asked me specifically to treat his daughter just like any other employee” Thaksin even said to me: “And let her sweep the floor like the others.” (Link)