FLASHBACK FRIDAY: LARGEST MILLIONAIRE MISDEEDS
Today’s Flashback Friday brings you the most costly mishaps committed by well-known personalities around the globe.
$1.5 Million Ferrari
To promote his 2007 film Redline, American actor and comedian Eddie Griffin attended a charity event and drove the $1.5 million Enzo Ferrari of the movie’s executive producer Daniel Sadek. Minutes after, Griffin took a corner a bit too tight, fastened a cone, and locked its wheels. As a result, Griffin slammed the rare vehicle into a concrete barrier. The car was considered a total loss although he was not injured.
$4 Million Taxi
Russian violinist Philippe Quint always makes it a point to double-check his things before leaving a taxi. Unfortunately, in 2008, he left his $4 million 1723 Antonio Stradivari violin at the back of a taxi following a ride home. What makes it expensive? There are only less than 700 of the highly-prized, handmade violins available worldwide.
Six hours after reporting the loss, the port authority called him and said a taxi driver named Mohamad Khalil returned with his precious instrument. Quint, upon seeing the cab driver, fell to his knees to express his gratitude. To express his benevolence, he treated Khalil and 200 of his co-drivers to a 30-minute exclusive concert at the Newark Airport.
But the story does not end there. Fellow violinist David Garrett tripped at the end of the concert and fell on his Stradivari instrument, breaking the valuable instrument into pieces.
$54 Million Elbow Markdown
In the fall of 2006, Steve Wynn, art collector and casino owner, decided to display his Le Reve (French term for The Dream) painting by Picasso. Hosting a party at that time, the businessman told his group of friends he agreed to sell the prized painting to hedge fund collector Steve Cohen for $139 million. While Wynn was showing the piece of art to his fellows, he put his right elbow through Picasso’s mistress.
That incident prodded him to not sell the artwork and opted to repair it which amounted to $90,000. Although restored, it declined in value to $85 million. To cut the story short, Cohen purchased the artwork from the casino owner in 2013 for $155 million, considered the highest paid for a painting by an American collector.
$75 Million Marital Mishap
American pop singer Madonna and movie director Guy Ritchie had no prenuptial agreement when they got married in 2000. Hence, when they divorced eight years later, the hitmaker had to pay $75 million to the filmmaker as part of the settlement. That was equivalent to less than $10 million for each year of their eight-year union.
$17 Billion Fortune
Dr. William Howey was looking for a missing worker constructing the Canadian Pacific Railway when he found some copper-colored stones and hid those. He then sent the rocks to the Geological Survey of Canada director, but the latter evaluated these were worthless. So Dr. Howey threw the stones away.
A contractor named Thomas Murray saw the rocks, picked it up, and went to the building site where they were discovered. He later figured out the stones were copper and that these were one of the world’s biggest copper deposit.
The deposit, containing high levels of nickel, was called the International Nickel Company of Canada, which became the world’s second biggest nickel producer. Vale acquired the company for $17 billion in 2006.
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