Bulgarian-American Millionaire to Fly in Space with Madonna

Society | July 3, 2013, Wednesday // 15:49|  views

Shefket Chapadzhiev, photo by BGNES

Bulgarian-born US millionaire Shefket Chapadzhiev is among the space travelers who will fly with the "Spaceship 2" shuttle.

The billionaire Sir Richard Branson certified the place reserved for Chapadziev with a special letter. The Bulgarian millionaire will be joined in the spacewalk by Madonna, the Monitor daily reported.

A ticket for the flight of "Virgin Galactic" is worth USD 200 000 dollars and a lot of showbiz stars have already secured their expensive places. Teen idol Justin Bieber is the newest VIP tourist. The Canadian will be accompanied by his agent Scooter Braun.

"Congratulations! See you there," Branson wrote on Bieber's Twitter. "Let's shoot a video in space," the singer replied.

At a charity auction in the Cannes Film Festival an anonymous participant paid USD 1.5 M to sit next to Leonardo DiCaprio during the flight.

Chapadzhiev, who calls himself a Bulgarian Muslim, was born in the southern town of Madan, Bulgaria in 1939. After 2 unsuccessful attempts to escape the communist rule in Bulgaria, he finally managed to reach the US at the age of 24.

On his arrival, he only had 75 cents in his pocket. At first he advertised cooking oil for USD 1.25 per hour, later he was a waiter at a restaurant. Chapadziev also made an unsuccessful attempt to open a restaurant and worked in printing.

In 1976 he borrowed USD 10 000, bought 3 old printing machines and started his own business. In 1979, he bought his first factory.

In 1993 he sold his business and began to manage his earnings. Nowadays, Chapadziev has properties in Chicago, New York, Florida and the capital of Ecuador - Quito. He is an honorary citizen of Illinois.

Chapadziev supported the restoration and the construction of a church and a mosque in Madan and a Bulgarian church in Chicago, and funded hospitals and orphanages. Chapadzhiev is the winner of the International Organization for Migration award for contribution to Bulgaria and Bulgarians.

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Tags: Shefket Chapadzhiev, Madonna, space, millionaire, Richard Branson, Bulgaria


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