Howard Hughes' failure to procreate, plus his crappy taste in real estate, has resulted in a small town's worth of wannabe heirs, all of whom will receive virtually nothing when they sell Howard's last swath of land next year.
According to The Wall Street Journal, after Hughes' 1976 death his estate was divided among a handful of "cousins, aunts, uncles and other relatives." Now, thanks to the powers vested in hobby genealogy and weird property laws, their ranks have expanded to more than 1,000, only 200 of which are actually relatives. Some of the rando heirs are even plebeians, including schoolteachers, laborers, and people who need money for health care! They're all angling for one last Howard Hughes kickback when the estate sells off the 7000 acres in Las Vegas that Hughes used as an aeronautics base in the 1940s.
Once valued at $2 billion, the land is now tied up in crappy mortgages with a bankrupt shopping mall developer, which means the Hughes Clan Plus 800 will get very little money out of the sale, and what they do get, they'll be forced to divide 1000+ ways, which, alas, means no more Hughes billionaires. And that is the way dynasties end: Not with a bang, but an over-mortgaged whimper.