Home Entrepreneurship Striking It Rich: The Most Bizarre Millionaire Stories You’ll Ever Hear

Striking It Rich: The Most Bizarre Millionaire Stories You’ll Ever Hear

Darren February 6, 2023

Most everyone dreams of becoming a millionaire, but truly getting a unique idea off the ground and monetizing it to the point of becoming rich is easier said than done. However, some people can parlay one-of-a-kind situations into millionaire-making endeavors. The following entrepreneurs had the craziest millionaire stories where they got rich in the craziest ways possible with brilliant – but niche – ideas.

It’s amazing what consumers will spend their money on, and of course, it’s all about being in the right place at the right time. The craziest aspect of these millionaire stories is that they’re all real. These millionaires all made their wealth from their ridiculous ideas but somehow they paid off. From renting goats to selling pet rocks, this list has it all. Read on to find out the craziest ways that people made a million dollars right here.


Domain squatting is a popular practice where people register a URL before turning around and reselling it for a profit. It’s not exactly easy these days, but sometimes it still pays off. Chris Clark paid $20 for the pizza.com URL in 1994 and held onto it for multiple years. Then, in 2008, a furious auction began and he made a cool couple of million.

Serious Eats

Carter called this a life-changing moment but it’s a morally-dubious plan that doesn’t always work. Sometimes companies will sue if they think they can claim the owner is engaging in a bad-faith practice. But Carter hit the jackpot in one of the craziest ways ever. With that domain, it’s no surprise he was able to because Americans eat three billion pizzas per year (via Wired.com).

Video Game Account Sales

These days, gamers buy rare game items online and pour hundreds of dollars into their video gaming experience. But what about the addicts who desperately want the best of everything? These gamers created a market for account resales. In short, somebody spends a ton of hours playing a game like World of Warfare to a high level before reselling their ‘achievement’ (via Trusted Reviews).


That’s just what Shane Jeffrey did, and he made a fortune reselling WoW accounts online. He admitted that this was against the rules of the MMORPG, but people still take the risk. It’s not his problem if they ban the buyer after they spend thousands on one of his accounts. But he’s laughing all the way to the bank because it’s earning him a ton of cash for playing video games.

The Pet Rock

One man recognized that Americans are inherently lazy people. He knew that many of them wanted to have pets but didn’t want to deal with the day-to-day hassle and responsibility of owning real animals. Dogs and cats leave their hair everywhere while eating expensive food. Entrepreneur Gary Dahl thought that the US needed a laugh after Watergate and the Vietnam War.

New York Times

That’s why he patented the pet rock and sold thousands of them across the world. It’s one of the craziest ways anybody ever made a million dollars but it worked for him. People didn’t pay for the rock but rather the box it arrived in. Dahl also included instructions for how to keep their new pet alive in a brilliant marketing gimmick (via Mental Floss).

Renting Goats

Some people hire goats because they have a lot of green space. They use the animals to eat the grass and to remove invasive plants. This isn’t something that the average person thinks about. But it’s an incredibly lucrative business for established firms across the world. If you can’t believe it, check online because there are many goat rental firms (via Metro).


Dawn Hart explained that her goats wear GPS trackers and graze in groups. She sends them to conservation areas around the U.K. Goats have very strong stomachs and this allows them to eat durable weeds that other animals can’t consume. It’s one of the craziest ways anybody ever made their fortune, but kudos to them.

Rat Czar

There are roughly about 18 million rats in New York City. It’s a massive problem for the ‘Big Apple’ and they’re constantly trying to reduce the population. But it’s easier to hold sand without allowing it to fall between your fingers than to cull rats. That’s why the New York City Mayor’s Office advertised a lucrative position in 2022.


They wanted to hire a Citywide Director of Rodent Reduction to deal with their rat issue. The job package included a six-figure salary that would make the ‘Rat Czar’ a millionaire after a few years. It’s one of the craziest ways to make a massive amount of money but someone will inevitably take on the tough task (via 24 Digital).

Pool Hosting

The modern age has created diverse income streams that help people make money in the craziest ways. Most people reading this know about Airbnb but there are even more specific ways for owners to rent their assets. Jim Battan built a luxury pool in Oregon and now earns hundreds of thousands per year from rentals (via Entrepreneur).


He uses the platform Swimply because it makes life easier despite the cut they take. It doesn’t faze him because it’s a nice side income for him and his wife. Battan admits that it may not be sustainable in the long term but they’re enjoying raking it in now. He also says that maintenance means it’s more work than people might think.

Cat Memes

We live in a world where NFTs exist, so this may not be the most shocking entry on this list. But it remains a fact that somebody spent a couple of million dollars on a cat memes website. Eric Nakagawa made a massive profit after his site became popular. It attracted a lot of traffic and this prompted a bidder to cough up a small fortune.


Nakagawa recognized this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and he didn’t question it. If someone wanted to give him millions for cat memes, he wasn’t going to say no. It’s remarkable how something random gains traction and becomes profitable. This could have been any software developer but Nakagawa won.

The Shellfish Queen

There are a lot of strange people out there who want to watch people do weird things. Some internet users have made a lot of money in the craziest ways possible. Bethany Gaskin probably takes the cake – or should we say shellfish – because her situation is exceptionally weird (via WLWT).

New York Times

She became a multimillionaire after her Instagram and YouTube accounts went viral. Gaskin eats shellfish in front of the camera and millions of subscribers watch her consume it. We’re not sure why this is so popular but a lot of netizens appear to love it. It’s wacky but Gaskin doesn’t mind because her bank account exploded.

The Toy Millionaire

Imagine being a parent whose child is making more money than them. That’s the situation that Ryan Kaji’s family finds themselves in because their son is making a fortune. Kaji made almost $30 million in 2020 after his videos became successful. The nine-year-old opens toys for a living and reviews them.


Remarkably, the family also earns a massive amount of money from merchandise. They recognized that his channel may not be sustainable in the long term. That’s why they explored other revenue streams as they try to maximize the cash flow. It’s very impressive that children are making millions in the craziest ways (via Mic.com).

Pet Influencer Manager

The Internet is an amazing place that gives people a lot of opportunities to make millions. Loni Edward earned a fortune after she became a manager for her pet French Bulldog, Chloe. The dog became incredibly popular online and helped Edwards to make money in one of the craziest ways possible.

Elle Vet Sciences

Edward isn’t the only person to benefit from their pet’s appeal. However, she understands the industry and genuinely cared for her dog before Chloe died. She told Vox that animals can’t do meet and greets like humans. Edward also observed that they’re more difficult to communicate with than people.

The Slinky

Everybody knows what a slinky is and probably had one in their house at one point. That’s also why Richard James became a millionaire because they are so popular. He created this iconic toy in one of the craziest ways ever. It happened after he dropped a tension spring while he was fixing his car and it bounced.


This Eureka! moment didn’t change the world in the same way as Sir. Isaac Newton’s apple. But it did ensure that he became a multi-millionaire with more money than he ever imagined. However, he didn’t handle his newfound wealth well and joined a Bolivian cult. Luckily, his wife Betty had more business sense than he did (via Wonderopolis).

Selfie Joke

We could easily make a list of the dumbest NFTs but that’s for another day. However, there’s an exceptional case where a Malaysian boy accidentally became a millionaire. He took his selfie every day for five years and turned them into NFTs for fun. But he never expected anybody to buy them.

iTech Post

However, people will spend their hard-earned cash on anything these days and they loved them. Ghonjali sold 933 selfies for three dollars per picture and changed his life forever. He also asked bidders to use his pictures ethically so that his parents wouldn’t feel any shame about the situation (via The Block).

High-Tech Graves

Japanese struggle to balance their traditions with the realities of modern life. Typically, they visit their family members’ graves during the Bon festival to pay their respects. However, it’s not easy for people who have moved away from their hometowns because they must find a way to manage their graves.

Japan Times

One monk approved a high-tech solution to this problem. He worked with Toyota to create a special vault in his temple that holds the urns of the deceased. Meanwhile, it plays music, audio, and videos of these late people as well as displays photos. It’s becoming increasingly popular and is very profitable (via Reuters).

Crime Scene Clean-Up

Nobody wants to go through the trauma of experiencing a crime scene. However, one former police officer turned them to her advantage. Laura Spaulding was a member of Tampa’s law enforcement the job exhausted her. She also couldn’t believe that there were no clean-up services for crime scene victims.

Check A Trade

This inspired her to start her business, Spaulding Decon. She advertised it as the first crime scene clean-up service in the United States. It began as a one-woman show but it evolved into something massive. Now it’s one of the most profitable new companies in America and she’s a millionaire (via TSE).

Santa Letters

Most children dream of meeting Santa Claus every year and telling him what gifts they want for Christmas. One man recognized this and turned it into a lucrative business. He made millions in one of the craziest ways possible by selling Santa Claus letters. This came after he secured an address in the small town of North Pole, Alaska.


Byron Reese invited parents to get their children to send him letters. They paid a fee for his response from the North Pole. It was an ingenious but simple idea that earned him a fortune. He patented the business and turned it into a multimillion-dollar enterprise. Many people probably kicked themselves because they didn’t think of it first (via Business Ideas Lab).

Fresh Air Millionaire

Another of the craziest ways that people have made money is by selling fresh air. It might not be that shocking that this is a lucrative industry in China. Major cities, like Beijing and Chongqing, experience horrific air quality. Chen Guangbiao sold canned fresh air and became insanely wealthy in the process.


A British entrepreneur also earned a lot of cash from this business. A 27-year-old man began exporting fresh countryside air to China from the U.K. They paid hundreds of dollars per can and his company is flourishing. Remarkably, even fresh air can be turned into a profitable product (via The Mirror).


Nobody knows if this Detroit self-defense guru is real or not. Dale Brown founded the Detroit Urban Survival Training (D.U.S.T.) program and it attracted a lot of attention. People don’t know if Brown’s methods are serious or if he is trolling everybody. Whatever the truth is, he’s making a lot of money.

Detroit Free Press

Brown’s critics say that he has a duty of care to the impressionable people that watch his videos. They think that he should disclose whether he’s being serious or if he just creating parody videos. The former serviceman is laughing all the way to the bank because he doesn’t care (via Black Belt Mag).

Treasure Hunters

Every young boy dreams of finding buried treasure or diving into the deep to explore a lost wreck. Amazingly, some people do this in real life and made a lot of money. It’s one of the craziest ways to earn a million bucks and there are no guarantees. But some adventurers experienced a lot of luck.


E. Lee Spence has a one hundred million dollar fortune after exploring multiple wrecks. Others fought governments in protracted legal battles to guarantee they got their share of the spoils. It’s one of the most glamorous entries on this list because it’s such a romantic idea (via Love Money).

Fart Jars

We spoke earlier about people buying jars of fresh air. However, some cretins go further and purchase farts. Yes, this is a real thing that adult stars make a profit from. One Tik Tok celebrity sells her discharged gas for $1000 per jar. She made hundreds of thousands of dollars in one of the craziest ways possible.

Rolling Stone

It shocked Stephanie Henney that men wanted to spend that much, but she didn’t have a problem with it. She shrugged her shoulders and allowed them to part with their hard-earned dollars. It’s insane what men will do for their fantasies, but that’s the world we live in (via Rolling Stone).

Candle Company

It’s amazing when a hobby turns into a multimillion-dollar business. That was one 13-year-old’s experience after he tried to find a part-time job. Brandon Bechtel showed incredible initiative after searching online for profitable industries. First, he began selling homemade candles on Etsy but it didn’t work very well.

Minno Kids

Then he changed to Amazon’s marketplace and hit one million dollars by the age of 17. Most parents probably wish that their children would get off their game consoles and make some money. Remarkably, Bechtel had the drive and commitment to create this great business from his bedroom (via The Sun).

Car Park Attendant

This is the only illegal entry on this list but it’s one of the craziest ways anybody ever made a million dollars. It was an incredible scam that rolled on for 20 years before anybody realized the truth. A man pretended to be a parking attendant and became a fixture in his community as he charged three dollars per vehicle.


Nobody realized that he wasn’t working for the local town council. They paid him without questioning and only discovered the truth when he disappeared. The time he committed to this enterprise was incredible but it’s believed that he made about six million dollars before vanishing into thin air (via Medium).

Johnny Cupcakes

It’s not crazy that a man made a million dollars from selling t-shirts. But the way he did it deserves a place on this list because it’s wild. Johnny Earle created his brand after his childhood nickname inspired him. His friends called him ‘Johnny Cupcakes’ because he was a chubby youngster.

Makers Valley

Then he turned this to his advantage and made a staggering amount of money. He made his shopfronts appear to be European patisseries and pumped the smell of baked goods onto the street. This enticed customers into the store and it proved to be a brilliant marketing strategy (via Johnny’s Cupcakes).

The Dog Woman

Internet users can earn millions of dollars if they’re happy to degrade themselves. One woman, Jeanna Phillips, has no issue with this and takes full advantage of the web’s power. She films herself pretending to be a dog and allows the world to see her antics. Some people just like this because it’s very profitable.

Four Paws

Phillips happily chases balls and rolls on the floor like a puppy. She claimed that she always felt like a dog and this allowed her to live her dream. It would be beautiful if it wasn’t weird but this is the world that we live in. It’s one of the craziest ways to make a living but at least it’s quite innocent (via Times Now News).

Walmart Seller

Some people are brilliant hustlers but Ryan Grant takes this to the next level. He quit his boring office job because it didn’t bring him any happiness. Then he turned to one of the ways he made money in college but transformed it into a sustainable income. Grant buys products in Walmart and other stores before reselling them online.


Now he’s a multimillionaire after achieving an incredible amount of success. He buys limited items from Starbucks too and other items that people want. It reached a stage where he rented a warehouse because of the extreme turnover. This required a lot of drive but he went all-in on the company (via Uplead).

Teaching Excel

Excel is one of those things that nobody understands but puts on their CV anyway. However, one woman turned her freakish Excel skills into a life-changing business. She found herself at home during the global health crisis. Then she decided to try and make some passive income by creating some videos.


She proved that women can make money from filming themselves with their clothes on in 2021. Kat Norton made webinars that taught people how to use excel. But the then-28-year-old didn’t expect it to explode. Now she makes hundreds of thousands of dollars without doing anything (via The Verge).

Queen of Trash

Paper is something that most people take for granted. But it was very difficult to find high-quality paper in China. One woman saw this as a golden opportunity to make her fortune in the Middle Kingdom. China’s ‘Queen of Trash’ bought lots of used paper in the U.S. and recycled it in her native country.

Financial Times

The recycled product was of a higher quality than the indigenous paper. It earned Zhang Yin a lot of money and now she is the boss of a multimillion-dollar industry. She also inadvertently revitalized Old Town, Maine, because that’s where she based her business. The city adores its inspiring Chinese queen (via Press Reader).

Professional Cuddlers

Yes, people spend money for platonic cuddles with professionals. This is a real thing in 2023 and an official form of therapy. It’s not a sexual service because they only spend time with their arms around each other for comfort. One English woman makes hundreds of dollars per job as she provides comfort to clients.

Psychology Today

She says that some customers misunderstand what the job entails. This creates some awkward moments for her but the money makes it worthwhile. This industry is present all over the western world today. It’s weird but harmless and if people find happiness, then who cares (via Daily Mirror)<

Moon For Sale

Property is always an excellent investment because it usually retains its value. However, one man took this to the next level when he claimed the right to the moon. Dennis Hope claimed the celestial body because nobody else did. he observed that the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty prevented countries from owning the moon but not individuals.

SETI Institute

The brazen individual instantly registered his business and began selling off chunks of the moon. Laughably, it’s completely legal and he made millions of dollars. It remains to be seen what will happen if easy lunar travel begins. Some people may try to sue to claim their chunk of the moon (via Love Money).