“It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor”. Unfortunately, often the people chasing money and splurging it aimlessly are the ones who have the most of it. Here we have a list of funny, weird and downright outlandish tales of how billionaires have made a fool of themselves or proven how money is often in the hands of the most undeserving. But it’s not all bad in the big, bauble-filled world of billionaires. For a little balance, we’ve added a couple of examples of commendable ways that the rich have looked out for the little guy. Meet the Malaysian billionaire heir who gave up fortune to become a monk Aristotle Onassis covered his yacht’s bar stools with whale foreskin You may be a billionaire but you’ve got nothing on Aristotle Onassis – who offered the ladies the world’s finest champagne and ... a very special vantage to enjoy it on. The Greek shipping magnate used whales’ foreskins as seat covers on all his bar stools. The billionaire who rescued a baby from a trash can – meet Hans Sy J. Paul Getty negotiated a ransom for his kidnapped grandson One would think that money is no object for a rich man. But the same can’t be said about the man who was cheap enough to install a payphone for his guests at home. Imagine his horror when he heard his grandson John Paul Getty III had been abducted and the kidnappers had issued a ransom note asking for around US$17 million. He had 13 other grandchildren who could also become kidnap targets if he paid so he negotiated with them, leaving his grandson in the hands of the kidnappers in Italy’s Calabrian mountains for months. After they sent him one of the boy’s ears, he offered US$2.2 million – the largest sum that was tax deductible – which they accepted and the boy finally released. Raj Rajaratnam paid Kenny Rogers US$4 million to sing The Gambler Raj Rajaratnam, founder of the now-defunct hedge fund managers Galleon Group, once paid US$4 million to have singer Kenny Rogers come to a birthday party at his house and sing his favourite song, The Gambler , over and over again. Rogers sang the ditty over a dozen times. For that kind of money why not listen to the whole album? Richard Branson at 70: the Virgin billionaire’s brashest moments Peter Thiel bought New Zealand citizenship to create an apocalypse retreat The billionaire venture capitalist who co-founded PayPal is not only a wealthy man but also a scared one. He wanted a safe haven for himself, believing the world is approaching its doom at breakneck speed. He alighted on a 477-acre apocalypse retreat in Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand. He also managed to acquire citizenship of the country despite having spent no more than 12 days there up to that point and stating publicly that he had no intention of living there. 5 destinations offering easy second passports and fuss-free citizenship Donald Trump, offended at being called a millionaire, sued for US$5 billion Before he became president, in 2009 Donald Trump filed a defamation lawsuit against an author who had claimed in a book that the real estate magnate wasn’t really a billionaire. Trump sued for a cool US$5 billion. After two years of his appeals against lower courts throwing it out, the New Jersey appeals court did the same. How much did Melania make from her jewellery and cosmetic businesses? Howard Hughes, disturbed by casino’s sign, bought the casino and tore it down Billionaire Howard Hughes was a genius businessman and film director who founded an aircraft company and set multiple airspeed records. There are many colourful stories about his life, especially from his later years living in Las Vegas. In 1968, he bought the Silver Slipper Casino there for just US$5.4 million because the Silver Slipper’s trademark shoe overlooked his room in the next-door hotel – and he was worried that he might be photographed from it. Cecil Chao offered US$180 million to any man who married his lesbian daughter Parents will leave no stone unturned for their kids, but bribing someone to lure your daughter out of her homosexuality is surely bizarre and cruel. In 2012, this Hong Kong-based billionaire openly offered first US$64 million to any man that could win the love of his lesbian daughter. He then increased the dowry in 2014 to US$180 million. Jaime Xie, not Jamie – the tech billionaire heir turned fashion instaguru Vladislav Doronin built Naomi Campbell a mansion that looks like a starship So what if it is one of the weirdest looking homes ever; unconventional doesn’t mean unlivable. Known as the Donald Trump of Russia, and owner of Aman Resorts, Doronin roped in renowned Zaha Hadid Architects to make supermodel girlfriend Naomi Campbell a mansion inspired by the Galactic Empire’s dreaded Star Destroyers from the Star Wars franchise. A romantic gesture? Or simply a grand one? An Abu Dhabi sheikh carved his name big enough to be seen from space When one’s superpower or prowess is wealth, certain things like having your name visible from space can become surprisingly important to you. Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, had workers carve his name, Hamad, in capital letters, into an island. The inscription is two miles across and each letter is over half a mile high, easily visible from space. Does Mukesh Ambani have the biggest luxury car collection in Asia? Larry Ellison hired a man to retrieve basketballs that go overboard from his yacht Two things about Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison are known; he is worth nearly US$50 billion and he loves basketball. Ellison has installed courts on at least two of his yachts as he unwinds by shooting hoops. A result though is that they tend to bounce off the courts and into the water so he has someone ride along in a powerboat behind the yacht to retrieve the balls. Hong Kong billionaire bought a US$48 million diamond for his daughter Billionaire tycoon Joseph Lau clearly dotes on his daughter Josephine, as in 2015 he paid US$48.4 million for a 12.03-carat flawless blue diamond – that he renamed “Blue Moon of Josephine” – at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva, Switzerland. Only a day before, he bought her a 16.08-carat pink diamond for US$28.5 million that he christened “Sweet Josephine”. Behind Boohoo – the lavish life of the scandal-struck Kamanis Liu Yiqian stirred a storm by sipping tea from Ming dynasty cup Shanghai-based Liu Yiqian spent US$36.3 million on a tiny porcelain cup from the Ming dynasty with an American Express card. Liu then decided to celebrate by sipping tea from the cup. Some were quick to criticise him for risking such an antiquity, the “holy grail” of Chinese porcelains. On the bright side, there are some billionaires who have put some of their money to excellent use … Robert F. Smith paid off US$34 million of student loans Not all billionaires are like Robert F. Smith, the wealthiest African-American in the US in 2018. In 2019, he showed his compassion in pledging to pay back the student loan debt of nearly 400 graduates of Atlanta’s Morehouse College – a total of $34 million. The donation won’t just pay off direct student loans, but loans their parents took will be taken care of too. Bill Gates bought Leonardo da Vinci’s writings and gave them away as a screen saver Why is Tony Robbins’ private jet called the ‘peak of private aviation’? The Codex Leicester is a collection of scientific writings by Leonardo da Vinci that holds the record for the second-highest sale price of any book. It was bought by Bill Gates at Christie’s New York auction house in November 1994 for US$30.8 million. Believing such a piece of history deserves to be shared, Gates had its pages scanned and distributed as screen saver and wallpaper files as part of Microsoft Plus! for Windows, so everyone could enjoy them. Well, apart from Apple users, that is... Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter . This article originally appeared on Luxurylaunches.