Few famous divorces have the power to really shock anyone — so congrats to Bill and Melinda Gates for surprising everyone with the announcement of their split on Monday, May 3, 2021.
“Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives. We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives,” their statement read, in part.
While we all know about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as, of course, Microsoft, there are still secrets to be learned about the soon-to-be exes’ financial holdings. And as with any high-profile divorce, dirty laundry is about to be aired far and wide — including one surprising source of income nobody could have seen coming.
Bill Gates has a secret life as a farmer
Did you know that Bill Gates is the largest owner of farmland in the United States? Because we sure didn’t. But as the New York Post reports, Gates owns around 242,000 acres of farmland across the United States, more than 50,000 more acres than the second-largest holder. The Gates’ farmland holdings include a whopping 69,000 acres in Louisiana and nearly 48,000 in Arkansas.
Basically, Bill and Melinda Gates literally own a significant portion of the actual country. And since the couple never signed a prenuptial agreement, they’ll have to duke out who gets the family farm(s) in court. Maybe Bill will take the Southeast and Melinda gets the Northwest?
The Gateses did indicate an interest in agriculture with the launch of Gates Ag One, their new nonprofit focused on agricultural research. But it wasn’t common knowledge that that interest extended into buying up this much actual soil.
However, despite owning some 378 square miles of the country, these holdings still represent just a portion of the Gateses’ $130 billion fortune. Just to keep things in… perspective.
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