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  • Billion Dollar Inheritance


    From a transcript of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360:

    Well, coming up, more than 30 years after his mother's death, a man is about to come into quite a tidy inheritance -- a billion dollars. Billion with a B.

    Billionaires in the world: 691.

    Collected net worth: $2.2 trillion.

    COOPER: So this is a story with a happy ending -- actually, about a billion happy endings in fact, if you individually count the dollars involved. It's a complicated story as well, however, about a woman who died without a will, but with assets. Assets that grew more and more valuable all through the many years her family and the courts puzzled over what to do with those assets. Well now a decision has been made. And the man you are about to meet, Sam Gross, is soon to become this country's 314th billionaire. We spoke earlier.


    COOPER: Sam, this is just an incredible story. Your mom died in 1970 when you were 9 years old, didn't have a will. You didn't find out until you were 29 that she had stocks from her former employer, Texas Instruments. How did you finally find out about the stocks?

    SAM GROSS, BIOLLIONAIRE-TO-BE: Well, I went back to the old neighborhood where I was raised and when I asked, one of the ladies was considered like a godmother to my mom, and after she recognized who I was, she hadn't seen me since I was 9, next thing she say, did you ever get the money in trust? I said, no, what money? And that's how I found out.

    COOPER: So the problem really was that your mom didn't have a will and that your name wasn't on any documents, so that's why the probate took over and it took so long to get out of probate. Is that basically correct?

    GROSS: Yes, but I was informed that there were certain documents, like a guardianship trust that was never set up. I did find documents to show that I was the heir, but I don't think they have ever received an affidavit of heirship.

    COOPER: And I know you're waiting for a judge to sign the final papers this week. Does it seem real? I mean, that you are on the verge of getting more than a billion dollars?

    GROSS: Well, I guess it's the reality of it. I may not fully understand until it happens. I know the reality of it and the long fight and the struggles that I've had to endure. It's going to make a difference in my life.

    COOPER: Yes, I would hope a billion dollars would make sort of a difference in your life. If it doesn't, you're living pretty high right now, I got to tell you.

    Is there anything you want to do with that money? I mean, is there anything you want to, you know, instantly buy or think about buying? How's it going to change your life?

    GROSS: Well, first of all, it gives me a peace of mind to know that I can basically make a difference in other peoples' lives, maybe give back to the community, creating charitable trusts, making a difference in other peoples' lives. And I'm also looking into trying to create something that will keep this from happening to any other American citizen.

    COOPER: You have three children. You're about to come into a lot of money. Do you have a will of your own?

    GROSS: Well, I have what you call, that I'm setting up, like an (INAUDIBLE) corporation trust, stuff like that, that I've prepared.

    COOPER: That's something a billionaire does. I don't even know what any of that means.

    GROSS: OK.

    COOPER: I'm not sure what -- it sounds good, though.

    GROSS: Well, I've made provisions.

    COOPER: You're protected.

    GROSS: Right. I've made provisions to protect my heirs and my interests and certain ventures. And to keep this from happening to my heirs as what happened to me.

    COOPER: Well, I just find it -- you're the calmest about to be a billionaire I've ever heard from and it's great to hear of the things you want to do. You're really basically talking about helping out other people and making sure this doesn't happen to other people. So, good luck to you. I hope you get the money and I hope it doesn't change you and I hope you do a lot of good with it. Thanks so much.

    GROSS: And thank you, sir.


    COOPER: An amazing story.

    Amazing indeed. Maybe this will give someone that extra incentive to invest. Or at the very least set up a trust for their kids future. Kinda shows what the end result of saving can really be.

    Kudos to mom for thinking further ahead than she probably ever realized. And good for him actually thinking about what to do with this newfound fortune in a positive way. Sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders.

    ETA: He (Gross) is a black man. Yay!



    I hate to be all suspicious and cynical but that's probably why they tried to take his money in the first place!!! Grrrrrr.

    This is right on time for me to read because I am doing a little investing and plan to bump it up within a few months.


    Thanks so much for this story. I too have been weighing investment options and it's given me even more incentive to save and invest wisely.

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