The more time you spend with friends, the more you get to know them. But usually, you can tell instantly if they are rich af by how they dress or how they spend their money. For these people, that wasn’t the case. These people share how they found out they were friends with Richie Rich. Content has been edited for clarity.
“I was at university and became friends with a student who was from Asia. His older brother had been at the same university and had done very well, but my friend spent more time in the pub and at the snooker table than in lecture halls.
Occasionally he would say he was short of funds and ask if would I lend him some money, which I did. He repaid me in a haphazard way but I figured he was keeping count. I just considered he and his family were not wealthy and his family was doing their best to support him as an overseas student.
A few years after we finished university I had a stopover in his city, gave him a call (no cell phones in those days), and suggested we catch up. He agreed, but he was not happy to find out I was staying at a hotel and not at his family’s place.
I said I didn’t want to have them put up a stranger.
He replied, ‘A car will pick you up.’
Then we hung up.
A car with two rather burly men came to the hotel and told me to pack my bags and go with them. They took me to a tower of apartments, took me to the top floor, and to a suite where a butler was waiting who did butler things.
My friend arrived shortly after. He owned the tower of apartments and put me in the penthouse. Turns out his father had been giving him and his brother a tower of apartments for their birthdays and now they had several of these blocks of apartments in the city.
His father came to see me and told me I had thwarted his plans to have his son on starvation rations at university in the hope that his son would have no money to do anything but study.
Finding out more, I found that this was a very wealthy family. Pleased to say that he and I are still good friends over many years.”
Just A Regular Chef? Sike
“My mom’s boyfriend of several years lived modestly and worked at a local restaurant as a dessert chef. His kids were average income and completely normal. They lived together in his normal 3-bedroom home he retained after the divorce that he raised his kids in, and they split the bills evenly. His car was a 13 y/o van even.
After several years together and refusing to get married because of his horrible experience the first time, he proposed to my mother on Christmas Eve 2021.
The day after Christmas he told her, ‘Next weekend, we need to fly to New York.’
She, very confused, asked, ‘Why the heck are we going to New York?’
Apparently, that was where he was raised and where most of his family still is.
He said, ‘We need to meet with my lawyers and get everything straight in my affairs. You know, getting your existing debts cleared up and getting my will, estate, and portfolio updated to include you and your 3 adult daughters as they will now be ‘surname’ heirs and needed to be addressed accordingly.’
He apparently is worth a significant amount (coming from very old money that originated in the land of Lords and Ladies), but was never the type to care about it. He paid off not only her debts but all 3 of us kids including school loans by Jan 15th.
He refuses to give his children money or loans as we all have the duty to make it on our own just as all his family has been expected for generations. But we all will receive equal shares of his share of the family wealth at some point, and he will never allow us to become homeless or destitute as long as it wasn’t drug-related. He hopes our time of being ‘normal income’ will teach us the humility to understand how to handle such responsibility of having wealth.
They just got married a week ago in a simple courthouse ceremony, and we went to dinner for the reception at the restaurant he works at. They took a week for a honeymoon in Vegas and then return to work on Monday. It’s been pretty wild but he is still just a dessert chef at a local restaurant who drives a now 16 y/o van and volunteers at the local homeless shelter 3 times a month.”
The 5th Floor
“I was in college and I had a friend who was really nice and down to earth. He was always in simple Levi’s and non-branded t-shirts or shirts. He never spoke about his family or what they do.
One day, I was with him in his car (a standard edition jeep Cherokee, nothing fancy), and he told me he needed to drop by his home to pick something up.
We drove into an eight-story building. He pulled up at the entrance and gave the keys to who I think was the valet to park it. All cars below were randomly scattered below.
We took the elevator to the fifth floor and straight into a cozy apartment where I said ‘Hi’ to some of his family members (he has a small family of five, I think). They were in the living room and the apartment was nice and quite spacious, but very homey and informal. It seemed to me they were doing OK as a decent middle-class Egyptian family.
Later that week, I was at a coffee shop hanging out with the dudes but my friend was not with us.
We were bored and somehow our pointless conversations went to assessing how poor or rich each of us is. We started counting all the people we know, and when we said my friend’s name, one dude just gasped.
Dude: ‘Oh we can’t even come close to how loaded this guy is.’
Me: ‘Whaaaa? I was at his apartment a few days ago. It was nice, but hardly a rich man’s apartment!’
Dude: ‘You went to the 5th floor on the 8-story building, didn’t you?’
Dude: ‘Man… you were in their family living room. The entire fifth floor is their living room. They have a floor for receptions, a floor for recreation and entertainment (party hall and game rooms), a floor for sleeping quarters (bedrooms), a floor for services (kitchen, laundry …etc), a floor for sports (indoor pool and gym), a floor as for business (offices, conference halls), a guest floor and the rooftop terrace…. The entire eight-floor building is their house.’
My jaw dropped.”
“I met my friend when I was about 19 or so. She was a beautiful girl, but nothing about her screamed ‘Money.’ We hit it off as friends. We talked about all kinds of things, she spent a fair amount of time in my quite humble home.
One day she called me and said, ‘Hey, are you free for lunch today? My dad asked me to take a friend to our gym for lunch.’
I agreed, though I found it strange that A) her dad asked her to go to a gym, and B) for lunch – what kind of a gym serves lunch?
She came over to my apartment, we hopped into a cab, and went to her ‘gym’, which happened to be the most exclusive ‘Athletic Club’ in my city. No beefy guys lifting deadweights in this place. This was a squash, racquetball, sauna, and massage kind of place. The attached bar and restaurant were elegant, beautifully appointed, and insanely expensive.
‘Do you want a drink?’ She asked.
I said, ‘Sure.’
When the waiter came, she pointed at me and said, ‘He will have an 18-year-old Islay single malt – make it a double. I will have a double Grey Goose.’
Like ok, that’s like $70 right there.
She ordered for both of us – steaks, and jumbo shrimp.
I asked, ‘Look, this is gonna cost like $300 or $400 …can you afford this? I have some money on me, but not that much.’
‘Don’t worry about it,’ she said.
As we were walking out, she asked, ‘Do you need smokes?’
She then turned to the concierge, ‘He will have a carton of Dunhills… and a club tie.’
She smiled at me. She was handed a bill, she signed it, and we walked out.
‘How much did that cost?’
I asked. I felt bad.
‘About $500. And my dad is not gonna be happy.’
My eyes went to the back of my head.
‘But you ASKED me to come!’
She laughed and said, ‘No, it isn’t that: I was supposed to spend at least $700 because my dad gets billed that every month whether he spends it or not.
Later on, I saw her house in the most exclusive part of the city, and accidentally saw $500k in uncashed checks sitting in a drawer while looking for a pen.
As I said: it was weird. Mostly because she was so normal when I expected the very wealthy to be so different from me.”
27 And Unemployed
“My friend wore t-shirts from Kmart and shopped at the Dollar Store. She never spoke talk about money until this one time.
Me: ‘Man, I started working at this childcare center. It’s so tiring but it’s good money because they give me more hours than my retail job. What about you?’
Her: ‘Umm, I haven’t gotten a job yet.’
Me: ‘Do you want to work?’
Mind you, she was like 27 and she still lived with her family.
Her: ‘Umm, not really.’
Me: ‘How do you pay for your things?’
Her: ‘I just have money.’
It didn’t really hit me then, I just shrugged and moved on to the next topic. The next time we were walking to our cars after classes, I noticed she got a new car.
Me: ‘Hey, you bought a new car!’
Her: ‘Oh, it was my auntie’s. She didn’t like it so she gave it to me.’
And mind you, it was one of those small Toyota Yaris-grade kinds of cars that were easy 20k here in Australia.
Me: ‘Wait, your auntie gave you her car because she didn’t like it?’
Her: ‘Yeah, she said it’s too small.’
Me: ‘Don’t you have to pay her back?’
Me thinking she doesn’t already work and now she had to pay her aunt back for a new car:
Her: ‘Umm, no.’
Me: ‘So you got a new car for free?’
It still didn’t hit me.
Then one day while surfing the internet, I saw a post of a certain person I didn’t recognize posting an ad about a market village called ‘Jape’ and that person had the same last name as the name of the market village. Then when I went onto that said person’s profile, I saw how my friend was mutual friends with her and they both had the same last name.
That was when it hit me. She was rich, RICH.
The market village surrounds a sports store, some furniture stores, a popular Australian gaming store, a pet store, and a hunting store.
They OWN the whole thing and my friend’s family was rich the whole time and I never knew it.”