A Billionaire Offered $180 Million To Whichever Man Marries His Lesbian Daughter

Ten years on, no man's grabbed the prize.
A Billionaire Offered $180 Million To Whichever Man Marries His Lesbian Daughter

Hong Kong billionaire Cecil Chao inherited his father’s shipping empire, letting him devote the rest of his life to something other than business: having sex with women. He slept with 10,000 different women, said Chao. We can take him at his word here, because when has a man ever lied about the length of his sexual résumé, and when has a billionaire ever lied about his success at anything? 

Chao's eldest daughter Gigi took after him in one respect. She too liked women. Chao did not celebrate this facet of hers, and when she got a long-term partner, wiping away all hopes of his that this was just a phase, he made an offer to the world. Any man who married his daughter Gigi would receive $65 million from him. 

Some sources call this a “dowry,” an outdated concept whereby the bride’s family contributes some money to the new household. Dowries only made sense (if they ever made sense) in the old days, when women couldn’t work and when the law said only sons could otherwise inherit property—and anyway, this daughter bounty of Chao’s was more than a dowry. He wasn’t just offering tens of millions to his daughter’s family. He was offering $65 million to whoever could turn his daughter straight. 

After a couple years with no noble knights having successfully accepted the king’s challenge, Chao realized that this was not working. And so, in 2014, he raised the stakes, now offering $180 million. This year marks ten years since Gigi got married to her partner Sean in France. In 2019, Gigi founded a campaign to get Hong Kong to recognize overseas same-sex marriages. 

She sent out a public letter addressed to her father back when he raised those stakes. If you’re hoping for a brutal takedown where she says “screw you, I don’t care what you think,” you’ll be disappointed. She instead blames herself for “misleading" her father (by having some boyfriends when she was younger). Cecil is 85 now, and if a billionaire that old potentially had you up high in their will, and you’ve already taken some steps to cut yourself off from them and live your true life, maybe you too would avoid going further out of your way to guarantee they disinherit you. 

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