A lot of weird things happen in Florida every week, and on Fridays, we're here to bring you the weirdest. This week: a home much too expensive for its own good, a drunk DUI officer, and pizza fraud.
A $159 Million "Palace" Hits the Market in Broward County, Making It One of the Most Expensive Homes in America
Dubbed "La Palais Royale," a 60,000-square-foot megamansion in Hillsboro Beach (Broward County's answer to Miami's Indian Creek) is now one of the most expensive homes for sale in America at a cool asking price of $159 million. In fact, the mansion was originally on the market last year for $139 million, but the owner decided the home wasn't extravagant enough. He annexed more land and built two guest houses and a subterranean entertainment complex that includes a bowling alley, a nightclub, and an actual, honest-to-God indoor go-kart track. But the house itself isn't even complete yet.
How does a place like this come into being? Eight years ago, Robert Pereira, the founder of a construction company, decided he needed to build himself an American version of Versailles (the French palace, not the Little Havana Cuban restaurant). The final result, though, looks more like Donald Trump's redesign of the White House.
Pereira has spent $3 million on gold leaf alone. There's a grand staircase that cost another $3 million. There are six waterfalls on the estate and an 18-seat IMAX movie theater. There's a glass-bottomed hot tub suspended over a 4,500-square-foot infinity pool.
At some point, Pereira decided he didn't want to live in his palace, so he's selling it.
So who would be in the market for a home that might have everything a human might need or desire?
"It's for someone who doesn't really need to have it but who basically wants a trophy property," listing agent Mayi de la Vega tells the Sun-Sentinel.
It's a home with everything marketed to people who want for nothing.
We, of course, have some questions:
- Did anyone remember the fact that the last residents of the actual Palace of Versailles were beheaded in public and that the bones of the man who built it were removed from their resting place and desecrated by an angry mob?
- Why on Earth would anyone want to build anything this fancy in Broward County? You know what's considered a fancy party in Broward? When the keg is filled with imported beer. "Oh, Heineken on tap? Someone must be doing well for themselves."
- Honestly, if you could afford to have a home anywhere in the world, why Broward?
- This home is clearly affordable only to billionaires. Do you know how many billionaires there are in the world? Exactly 1,826. Do any of them have a taste for gold leaf? Pereira better hope so.
- You know what "Le Palais Royal" translates to in French? The Royal Palace. All of that money yet no imagination. That's one step above calling it "Le Vraiment Très Grande Maison," which is French for "the really, really big house."
- Seriously, though, are we sure Donald Trump isn't secretly having this place built to replace the White House?
Cop Shows Up Drunk to Accept Award From Mothers Against Drunk Driving
To be fair, the organization is named Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Not Mothers Against Drunk Award Accepting.
Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputy Michael Szeliga was being honored by MADD for making more than 100 DUI arrests, according to Raw Story, but when he showed up to collect the award, he seemed a bit drunk himself, prompting rumors that he might have driven drunk to the ceremony.
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Szeliga says he didn't drive and had only one or two drinks, but supervisors who encountered him at the ceremony said he seemed "wasted" and ordered him to stay in a hotel room rather than accept the award. He ended up being suspended for a day of duty to boot.
Couple Commits $1,400 Worth of Pizza Fraud
Larry and Dawn Harrington, both 44 and of Port Orange, had a pretty good racket going. For months they'd steal credit cards and then use them to deliver pizza to their homes. Yes, just pizza. However, the owner of Luigi’s Pizza was informed by one card company that the couple's charges were fraudulent, and she filed a police reporte.
Turns out that over the past month, the Harringtons had pulled the scheme not only at Luigi's but also at Giuseppe's Pizza, Mama Mia’s Restaurant, Pizza Hut, and Papa John's. All in all, they racked up $1,400 in pizza fraud. They were arrested.