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Denny Sanford, Thrill Seeker

February 18, 2014, 6:02 PM by Angela Kennecke

Denny Sanford, Thrill Seeker

He's talked about his childhood and how he made his billions. But what many people may not know about T. Denny Sanford is that he's quite a thrill seeker.

Just a few steps into the billionaire philanthropist's San Diego home and you can see that he isn't just watching life pass him by. 

"Carnival costs $500 million; a half a billion dollars," Sanford said.

Every year he takes part in The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. It's the biggest carnival in the world with two million people a day on the streets.

"They just give us a costume and put us in the parade," Sanford said.

Sanford goes to Rio with a group of executives in the World Presidents' Organization. 

Fun seems to be the name of the game for Sanford, who is an avid golfer, skier and even sail boat racer. He's won more than 100 sail boat races around the world, often beating another well-known mogul, Ted Turner.

This risk taker has earned the nickname, WOLT.

Angela Kennecke: Which stands for?
Sanford: World's Oldest Living Teenager.
Kennecke: Accurate?
Sanford: Pretty accurate; I think so.

Sanford lives up to his nickname as the World's Oldest Living Teenager as a true adventurer. Not only does he race sailboats, he also loves to parasail. 

"You go off a cliff that's 350 feet above the ocean and you can stay up there for hours. I go up with a pilot. It's so much fun," Sanford said.

Kennecke: You're a guy who likes to live life to the fullest, it sounds like to me.
Sanford: I've had some scares along the way. And yeah, make the most of it. Live every moment to the fullest. And I'm having fun doing so.

Living life to the fullest also means giving all his wealth away.

Kennecke: Does it give you a thrill to give away money? Do you get a thrill out of that?
Sanford: Yes, yes. Particularly if I find a cause that is just near and dear to my heart.

Sanford has given away more than a billion dollars to date.  

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