The rich are indeed different from you and me: A big chunk of them drop half of what you might earn each year on gambling alone.
Over a quarter of the wealthiest Americans spent over $25,000 on gambling over the past year — roughly half of the estimated $55,775 average household income in the U.S. in 2015, according to the Census ACS survey. An additional 15% of these ultra wealthy elites — those with fortunes of at least $25 million — spent at least $10,000, according to a new report from research firm Spectrum Group.
How does that compare to the average Joe? According to the Las Vegas Convention And Visitors Authority, people who visit the desert gambling mecca — an admittedly self-selecting group — bet just under $600 per visit, and average just under two trips a year.
Of course, the richest Americans drop thousands of dollars on other forms of entertainment as well. About 40% spend at least $10,000 a year on sports tickets and season passes, the report finds, and about 8% spent the same amount on the arts, purchasing tickets to plays, symphonies, and museums.
And then there’s what they wear. One in four of the ultra rich spend over $50,000 on clothes annually, and over a third bought $25,000 or more in jewelry last year.
But by far, the super wealthy spent the most on travel and vacations last year. Almost half spent at least $10,000 on travel, while about 8% splurged and paid more than $100,000 for vacations. That makes sense: Spending on experiences has been shown to generate more happiness than purchasing material goods, so travel spending is a great way for the ultra rich to get the best return on their investment.