Branson buys Necker Island to impress his future wife, Joan Templeman. The original asking price is $5 million but he makes a much lower offer and is initially evicted from the island. He later purchases Necker for close to the original amount, and spends $10 million to develop it into a tropical resort with flamingoes and giant turtles. Branson:
I was 27 years old and chasing Joan [Templeton] so I pretended I wanted to buy an island. The estate agent laid on a house and helicopter for me so we came down for the weekend, saw this beautiful island from the air and put in a ridiculously low offer for it. About a year later they rang me up and said nobody else had come to see the island, and if I upped the offer to $180,000 we could have it. So we bought it on that basis, but then of course it was going to cost millions to actually develop.