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Richard Branson ended up buying Necker Island after trying to impress girlfriend

Richard Branson ended up buying Necker Island after trying to impress girlfriend

Most of us might pay for the Nando's or do some pull-ups or something, but not the Virgin billionaire

Many a man has done many a silly thing to impress a girl - but few have bought an island.

Way back in 1978, Richard Branson was on the pull, and being an entrepreneur, he saw an opportunity.

The Virgin Group founder was told he could potentially own one of the Virgin Islands, and although he admitted he knew nothing about them, he did know they had the same name as his company - and that they might help him on the pulling front.

Why offer to pay for dinner when you can buy an island?
ZUMA Press, Inc./Alamy Stock Photo

"I had been madly trying to come up with a way to impress a girl I had fallen for, so I rang up the realtor, and expressed my interest," the billionaire recalled in a 2015 blog post.

"We were still in the early days of Virgin Records, and I by no means had the cash to buy an island.

"Luckily, the realtor didn't know this and offered me an all expenses paid trip to see the Islands that weekend. I agreed to go on one condition – if I could bring a guest."

And as tends to be the way for Sir Richard, the plan paid off.

He continued: "To my delight, the object of my affection agreed to join me on the trip.

"I fell in love twice that weekend – once as our helicopter (supplied by the realtor of course!) swooped over the turquoise water and white sandy beaches of Necker Island, and again when I saw the smile on the face of the beautiful girl who sat beside me on the journey."

The realtor went on to offer up the idyllic island for $6 million, but this was way out of Branson's budget - at the time.

Keen to impress the lady on his arm, he offered $100,000 and was unsurprisingly told where to go.

A year later though the offer didn't seem so laughable to the owner, who was desperate to sell, and by this point Branson was able to up his offer to $180,000 and make the island his.

His plan worked.

Looking back, his all expenses paid trip to the Virgin Islands was completely life-changing - because Necker wasn't the only asset he ended up acquiring.

"So that's the story of how I bought Necker Island, and it also marks the origins of our luxury property portfolio, Virgin Limited Edition," the 72-year-old recalled.

"As for the girl… I married her there 11 years later in front of all our family and friends, and our two lovely children, Holly and Sam."

Featured Image Credit: S. Hill / Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Richard Branson, Money, Sex and Relationships