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Published: Monday, December 18, 2017 @ 1:22 PM
— A few weeks ago, I got an email from an English public relations strategist pointing me to the website of the United Kingdom’s “leading independent online florist”
The idea is that they did a “study” about how much it would cost to be Santa Claus (short answer: $25.3 billion) and I’m supposed to write something fun about that and you’re supposed to click the link to the study itself and end up on www.serenataflowers.com and decide to buy flowers for all your friends in England.
But a question came up. No, not why are they making their pitch to a guy in Texas who writes about puking snakes, eating bugs and Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic (though that is also a valid question).
The question is, if it DID cost $25.3 billion to be Santa Claus, who COULD be Santa Claus? It seems that kind of financial requirement would narrow the list down quite a bit.
Right down to 29 people, as it turns out.
Looking at the Forbes list of billionaires, only the top 28 in the world have more than $25.3 billion (the children of the man who created the German supermarket giant Aldi share the No. 24 spot, if you’re wondering how we came to the number 29).
Let’s narrow down who could be Santa Claus.
RULE NO. 1: Being Santa Claus for one year can’t wipe you out. Let’s say you need to have $12.5 billion left over to get you halfway to next Christmas. So you need at least $37.8 billion to make the cut.
That eliminates: Phil Knight (seemed like a contender), John Mars, Jacqueline Mars, David Thomson, Beate Heister & Karl Albrecht Jr., Jack Ma (Christmas is big in China), Jorge Paulo Lemann, Steve Ballmer, Sheldon Adelson (perhaps a GOP Santa Claus), Li Ka-shing, Wang Jianlin and Wal-Mart heirs Alice, Jim and S. Robson Walton.
That leaves: Liliane Bettencourt, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Bernard Arnault, Michael Bloomberg, David Koch, Charles Koch, Larry Ellison, Carlos Slim Helu, Mark Zuckerberg, Amancio Ortega, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.
RULE NO. 2: Santa Claus has a long history and obviously has been wealthy for a good while. You have to have made the Forbes billionaire list 25 years ago … in 1992.
That eliminates: Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Bernard Arnault, Michael Bloomberg (perhaps a Democrat Santa Claus), Larry Ellison, Mark Zuckerberg, Amancio Ortega and Jeff Bezos (a natural at shipping logistics).
That leaves: Liliane Bettencourt, David Koch, Charles Koch, Carlos Slim Helu, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.
RULE No. 3: You have to still be alive.
That eliminates: Liliane Bettencourt (the makeup heiress died this year after making the list)
That leaves: David Koch, Charles Koch, Carlos Slim Helu, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.
RULE No. 4: Santa Claus lives at the North Pole and he is not a climate change skeptic. I mean, c’mon, he can see the effects of global warming right out of his workshop.
That eliminates: David Koch, Charles Koch
That leaves: Carlos Slim Helu, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.
We’re down to our final three: Carlos Slim Helu doesn’t use a computer and keeps track of his businesses in detailed notebooks (he’s making a list, checking it twice?). And Warren Buffett has a lengthy and impressive commitment to philanthropy.
But Bill Gates? He’s already been working at being Santa. This CNN story reveals that Gates has been participating in Reddit's Secret Santa Gift exchange for at least half a decade. Not only that, but as No. 1 on Forbes’ list, he’s got the money to keep this Santa thing going for quite a while.
I’m calling it. If being Santa Claus requires $25.3 billion, then Santa Claus has to be Bill Gates.
Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 8:29 AM
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 9:14 AM
CENTERVILLE — UPDATE @ 9:15 a.m.:
A report of a shooting after a home invasion robbery at a Centerville home was a false call, according to investigators.
Officers and medics were dispatched to the home in the 8200 block of Rhine Way around 8 a.m. after a man called dispatchers and claimed he shot an intruder.
Centerville police surrounded the house but found no initial evidence of a crime. Officers later forced entry into the home and found nothing.
Police said the investigation will continue into who made the false call.
Additional details were not available.
We’re working to learn more about a police investigation occurring at a Centerville home Monday morning.
Officers and medics responded to a home in the 8200 block of Rhine Way around 8 a.m. on initial reports of am unresponsive person, according to scanner traffic.
According to initial reports, a person called into dispatchers and said they shot an intruder, before hanging up. Police have not found any evidence of a crime at the house, but are continuing to investigate, according to scanner traffic and our crew on the scene.
Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 2:01 AM
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 7:18 AM
DAYTON — A pursuit that started when a pickup truck struck a cruiser ended in Dayton early Monday morning with two in custody.
Around 1:10 a.m., deputies were dispatched to the 4100 block of Germantown Pike on reports of an intoxicated male who was acting disorderly and was driving a black truck.
Deputies located the vehicle in the 3700 block of Germantown Pike, at which time the truck struck a deputy’s cruiser and fled, which started the pursuit.
The pursuit ended around 1:50 a.m. in the area of Gettysburg Avenue and Frytown Road. Two people, a man and woman, are in custody.
Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 12:53 AM
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 7:52 AM
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Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 8:00 AM
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 9:34 AM
CLARK COUNTY — UPDATE @ 9:35 a.m.:
A driver was flown to an area hospital by a medical helicopter following a crash on U.S. 68 in Moorefield Twp., Clark County Monday morning.
LOCAL WEATHER: Heat Advisory in effect today; heat index to reach 100 degrees
State troopers said a car traveling south on U.S. 68 attempted to avoid a crash after a car pulled out in front of him at the intersection with Ohio 334. The car traveling south went up an embankment, over a guardrail, crossed all three lanes of traffic on U.S. 68 and crashed into the median wall, according to investigators.
The driver, only identified as a man, was trapped in the car, but was alert and talking with troopers while fire crews worked to free him from the wreckage.
The man was transported by CareFlight with injuries believed to be non-life threatening.
Additional details were not available.
CareFlight is responding to a single-vehicle crash in Clark County.
The crash was reported just before 7 a.m. on Ohio 334 near U.S. 68.
It’s unknown how many people are injured.