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October 16th, 2017

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How others spend their wealth

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Nov. 5, 2015

 How others spend their wealth

that the equivalent of $10,000 would be the starting bid on a two-pound mass of whale vomit (hardened into a chunk by aging in ocean waters) picked up by a beachcomber in Wales. BBC News reported that a six-pound hunk once sold for the equivalent of $150,000; when aged into "ambergris," the putrid waste product turns waxy and sweet-smelling and proves valuable to "high-end perfume houses." [Washington Post, 9-9-2015]

An international property rental service recently found a seven-bedroom castle on 200 acres in Ringuette, France, for the equivalent of $2,925 a month -- which San Francisco's KNTV immediately contrasted with the listing of a 401-square-foot apartment in the city's Lower Haight district, offered at $3,000 per month. Another French castle (six bedrooms, a pool, three-acre garden, "several lawns") rents for the equivalent of $4,940 -- about what a three-bedroom on Collins Street in San Francisco goes for. [KNTV, 9-9-2015]

Marie Holmes tearfully disclosed in March how the $88 million Powerball lump sum she had won would allow her to finish college and help her four kids (one with cerebral palsy). Right away, though, her boyfriend, Lamar "Hot Sauce" McDow, was charged with drug trafficking and needed $3 million bail, which she took care of. Then, in August, in Brunswick County, North Carolina, "Hot Sauce" was arrested again, for selling heroin, and reporters surmised that Holmes must have been the one who posted that $6 million bail. (Holmes addressed her critics on Facebook: "What Y'all need to be worried about is Y'all money ....") [New York Daily News, 8-13-2015] [WWAY-TV (Wilmington, N.C.), 8-5-2015]

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