The big headline splashed across the Jacksonville Daily News read: Billionaire Malcolm Fellerhouse III Dies. The tycoon who contributed to America’s growing wealth since the end of the Depression had died due to natural causes-old age and a weak heart. As a matter of fact, when each of his family members were called about his death, none were surprised.
Fellerhouse didn’t have a big family like so many of his wealthy peers; he had just two children, their spouses and four grandchildren. Malcolm taught his children, John Fellerhouse and Sally Fellerhouse Thompson, important principles about leading modest, moral lives that made them honest, upright people. In turn, John and Sally raised and taught their two children the same moral lessons. But there is always one relative who was born far away from the apple tree. Among the four grandchildren, 30-year-old William, John’s younger son, lived a reckless life. William spent a lot of money on cars, drugs and women, he begged his parents for more and more money. However, they gave him nothing. William ended up in jail more than several times. When William heard about his grandfather’s death, he rejoiced because he knew he would inherit a lot of money.
His family was called to a local attorney’s office for the deceased billionaire’s will to be read. He had specified in his will that his grandchildren would inherit his fortune.
To each of my four grandchildren, Julian, Patsy, Lewis and William, I leave five hundred million dollars.
After the entire will was read by the attorney’s office, the grandchildren were told that their money would be directly deposited into trusts. However, William was told his money would become available later. “What?! I can’t have my money now like the others??!!” he asked. “I want my money now!!”
The attorney scowled. He picked up several documents and looked through them. The deceased tycoon had included and found one labeled, Special Instructions for William. The document specifically stated that William would have to wait for three months and he would receive his portion of the trust then. But, the attorney had been instructed not to read the rest to William until the three months had ended.
William was furious. He cussed at the attorney and his family, then stormed out of the office.
Three months later, the attorney called William and gave him information about his inheritance. “Your grandfather wants you to Las Vegas, Nevada to a place called The Money Picker, where he would receive five hundred million dollars in cash. William was so excited that when he stopped talking to the attorney, he called the airlines to make a reservation for Las Vegas.
After he flew to Las Vegas, he hailed a taxi and told the driver to take him to a place called, The Money Picker. The taxi driver asked him why he was going there. William distrusted him and lied, saying he was there to gamble. The cabbie with a New York accent said, “That’s a heavily guarded place… gots lotsa money! You’ll like it if you want a lotta money!”
William didn’t say anything as he felt greed hit an all-time high. Several miles later, the taxi stopped in front of the Money Picker. After paying the cabbie, William examined the building which looked like a fort. He stepped up to the vault-like door and knocked. An intercom turned on and a deep voice said, “Who is it?”
“I’m William… Fellerhouse.” There was a pause, then some talking.
The same voice came on again. “Are you Malcolm Fellerhouse’s grandson?”
“Yes. That’s me.”
“We’ve been expecting you. After the buzzer, open the door!”
A buzzer sound emitted from the door and William struggled to open it. Two men dressed like armed guards stood behind the door. One of them said, “Follow us!”
William followed the guards down the steel stairs to a basement. Fluorescent lights flickered on in no particular order until William clearly saw a large room with about twenty machines that had metallic claws that hung over large piles of cash.
“What is this?!” William yelled.
“Your inheritance, William! $500,000,000 in machines. They don’t give up those packs of money easily, so you must have precision and patience.” a voice blared from a speaker. William recognized the voice. It was his grandfather, Malcolm. The voice continued, “This is what you reaped from leading a worthless, greedy life.” William knew it was just a recording of his grandfather before he passed away.
“As you can see, the machines’ claws must be operated by you. To get any of the money, you must put in a dollar and the claw will move over the cash which is wrapped in packs of one hundred one dollar bills. Then you must try to grab one pack at a time. It’s not as easy as it looks, is it, William?”
William’s face became red and he yelled, slamming his fists on the door. The recording continued. “You cannot break the machines to take whatever you want, or an alarm will sound and the guards will take you to jail.”
A few hours later, as soon as William moderately composed himself, he tried several of the machines, but no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t maneuver the claws to pick up any of the packs of dollar bills. He successfully broke into a machine and stole as many packs of dollar bills. But he didn’t get far.
A day later the headline in the Las Vegas Tribune’s afternoon addition read, Billionaire’s Grandson Goes to Jail.