As experts in philanthropy, finance, technology and global health scramble to predict what the divorce of Melinda and Bill Gates could mean for their industries, others are wondering: Who will get their lakefront estate in the Seattle suburbs, which is valued at upward of $131 million? And will the public finally get a peek inside?
The couple, worth an estimated $124 billion according to Forbes, announced their split in a joint statement posted to their social media profiles on Monday. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, of which they are co-chairs, said that nothing will change in its organizational structure.
But their 66,000-square-foot home on the shore of Lake Washington is another matter. The sprawling complex — which, at the time of a 1995 New York Times story, included a spa, a 60-foot pool, a gym paneled with stone from a mountain peak in the Pacific Northwest, a trampoline room, and a stream for salmon, trout and other fish — got the nickname Xanadu 2.0 from Mr. Gates’s biographers.
(Xanadu is a reference to the large, lavish property that belongs to the tycoon at the heart of the film “Citizen Kane.” The 2.0 refers to Mr. Gates’s technological innovations.)
went for $35,000 at a charity auction in 2009, according to TechCrunch. The Gateses own multiple other parcels of land surrounding the main property, according to public records, so walking by to catch a glimpse is out of the question.
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