So You’ve Won The Powerball
Powerball Winner in Rhode Island
In case you haven’t heard, an anonymous individual in Rhode Island won Powerball last night, landing themselves at least $336 million in winnings. Winning a jackpot of this size requires almost as much luck as being born into money (without the blue-blood, “good breeding” or childhood spent in boarding schools.)
Now, if you’re a Newporter, you know what to do with this kind of money. If not, we’re going to offer you some unsolicited advice on how to invest your new found wealth.
You need a place to live. For the time being, we’d recommend snagging yourself the James B. Finch House for a month or two. Yes, the whole place. You’re going to need a place for your friends and family to come and visit, while you purchase and furnish a property better suited to the new you.
The property we have in mind for you is located at 237 Ruggles. Lila Delman describes the property as:
Paradise found – Fairholme, a dazzling historic oceanfront estate, superbly sited on 4.3 acres of Newport’s legendary Gilded Age coastline with 425′ of ocean frontage. The main house, a Frank Furness designed Tudor revival masterpiece, built circa 1875 and considerably enlarged upon since, lies at the heart of this impressive compound, which also contains a picturesque six bedroom carriage house, three interconnected greenhouses, and an exquisitely tiled swimming pool, complete with a luxurious cabana pavilion and an outdoor living area overlooking the Atlantic.
At $17.9 mil, this property is quite the steal. For most people, their home is their greatest asset. Here you are spending less than 10% of your net wealth on the place. Good for you.
Furnishing Your New Property
Now that you have some property, you need to furnish the place. No, that bedroom set that you picked up at Ikea last year doesn’t have a place in your new home. From now on, any furniture you buy should either be custom-built for you or will have been hand-built for someone of stature a couple centuries ago. For instance, Sotheby’s recently auctioned off “The Exceptional Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Arnold Queen Anne Shell-Carved and Figured Mahogany High Chest of Drawers with Open Talons” for $3.5 million. This chest of drawers was made by John Townsend, of, naturally, Newport, Rhode Island, so not only do you get a place to keep your clothes, you get to take pride in supporting a local Newport business. The only problem is that the current owner doesn’t have it up for sale yet, so you might have to bump up the price a few hundred thousand. Fortunately, Sotheby’s will have more auctions so you can furnish the other 15 bedrooms on the property.
Now you need a way to get from point A to point B in a way that reflects your means. Sure, you may be thinking about purchasing the supercars you’ve always aspired but there are a few problems. First of all, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Bugattis and the like aren’t very practical…and they’re just going to draw too much attention when you’re stuck in summer traffic on Thames Street and America’s Cup Boulevard. They also aren’t going to be that comfortable on Newport roads. There are also plenty of people who take offense to such vulgar displays of wealth and status, so you’ll need to have someone keep an eye on your car while it’s parked downtown to stop it from being keyed or spat on.
So forget the flashy 200mph+ supercar and look at rolling luxury instead. Herb Chambers has a perfect specimen in stock, a 2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Convertible. There isn’t a better car to pull up to Fairholme or your yacht in. Instead of commenting on a need for attention or, if you’re a male, some need for compensation, people seeing your cruising by are just going to think of one thing: Class.
Did we say something about a yacht? Yes we did. Well now you have the means you’re going to have to buy one. It’s just something people do around here. Faced with this inevitability, let us recommend the Felicita West from Northrop & Johnson. Newport is a sailing town and 2012 is a going to have an incredible sailing summer, with the Tall Ships and America’s Cup World Series in town, so why not get yourself the world’s largest aluminum sailing yacht? Your’s for a mere $33 million.
To be honest, we don’t know much about finance, but if you want to play venture capitalist, there’s a great little startup in Newport called The Newport Buzz that could do some amazing things with an infusion of cash.
One Last Thing
Do a little research on happiness. The money won’t bring it, but the freedom it brings can.
-Tristan Pinnock, Buzz Staff
 We’d like to say they’re a Rhode Islander, but we have no way of knowing how many generations their family has been here.
 Give that hedge fund manager you met at the Clarke Cooke House last summer a call. No, not that one, the other one.
 Unless you want to give the city a grant to repave half its streets. We’d really appreciate it, but lets worry about philanthropy later.