Money

Mark Cuban set a Guinness World Record in 1999 when he spent $40 million online

Self-made billionaire Mark Cuban
Fort Worth Star-Telegram | Getty Images
Self-made billionaire Mark Cuban

In 1999, billionaire Mark Cuban bought a Gulfstream V business jet over the internet for $40 million. The purchase put him in the Guinness Book of World Records, where he still holds the title for the largest single e-commerce transaction.

Buying a private jet "was my all-time goal," the Shark Tank star and Dallas Mavericks owner told Money in 2017, "because the asset I value the most is time, and that bought me time."

Cuban added that he's always been careful with his money and had "lived in the same house for 18 years and still have the same cars" — but he stands by the $40 million splurge.

"There are too many examples to count of how the airplane has helped me," Cuban said in an interview with Business Jet Traveler. "Flying out after a late-night game to be at a meeting the next morning. Leaving a meeting to get home in time for my daughter's first daddy-daughter dance. It's part of my life that I can't be without.

"It means I have more hours in my day to spend with friends and family. It means I can get more work done. It means I can travel comfortably with my family. It's a life- and game-changer."

Cuban, who has since added two more private planes to his collection, is not the only billionaire who thinks the purchase is worth it. Self-made billionaire Oprah Winfrey says her No. 1 indulgence is a private jet.

"I would say having your own airplane is the greatest luxury," Winfrey told Edward Enninful, the editor-in-chief of British Vogue. "Because it means one minute you're in New York, and then the next minute you say, 'You know Edward, I think I'll fly to London.'"

At the end of the day, "time is the one asset we simply don't own," Cuban wrote for Men's Fitness. That's why a "brutally expensive" private plane that "saves me hours and hours" is completely worth the price.

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