Papa John’s Founder Faces Backlash After Saying He ‘Lost a Home’ in Hurricane Ian

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: Denise Truscello / Contributor

The uber-wealthy Papa John’s pizza founder, John Schnatter, is currently under fire for saying he “lost a home” in Florida during Hurricane Ian. The disastrous Category 4 storm ripped through Florida’s gulf coast and killed over 100 people.

The 60-year-old is also a property mogul whose net worth is a billion dollars. Following the storm, he admitted the damages while speaking from one of his homes in Utah during an interview.

According to Schnatter, the storm’s flooding damaged his $6 million condominium in Naples, Florida, but Schnatter empathized with those who had “lost everything.”

“Of course, you’re currently in Utah, but we’re seeing the images of your home in Naples,’ anchor Stella Inger Escobedo said to the pizza tycoon. She added: “It appears it is completely under water.”

Then, the Indiana native said that the images of the destruction following the hurricane “gives you a little bit of perspective [as to] how devastating this storm is.”

He added: “I’m not worried about myself because I have the resources and the team and institutional knowledge, but you can’t imagine how bad this is. My heart goes out to the folks in Florida. Yeah, I lost a home, but they’ve lost everything.”

Papa John’s Founder in hot water following controversial interview, online users call him out

In addition to the $6 million condominium in Naples wrecked by the hurricane, many believe Schnatter owns over 20 other properties. For example, it’s been reported that he owns three properties in the Louisville, KY, area, his home in Utah, and nearly 20 through his real estate company.

One of his Kentucky homes, which he’s named “Papa Castle,” is valued at $11 million. After the billionaire’s interview aired, he was met with outrage from many online users.

“Waaaaaa he lost a house. So in the end he will buy up the neighbor’s houses and build another tacky mansion,” wrote one annoyed user. “Institutional knowledge? To not suffer from a hurricane?” wrote a skeptical user.

Sadly, the storm’s death toll rises with recovery efforts continuing. The current count is that 109 have perished due to the storm.

Although “Papa” John Schantter has been amid controversy before, it hasn’t kept him from showing off his lavish lifestyle.

For instance, a 2020 TikTok shows Schnatter showing off his massive Kentucky mansion. In one shot, viewers can see the opulent entrance hall to the estate. He also shows off a statue of two eagles mating. Schnatter said the odd sculpture also works as a clock.

The property, which sits on the perimeter of a lake, also features ornate wooden doors and mosaic-style flooring. In another video, Schnatter is seen driving his 1971 Camaro Z28.

Another video shows him walking toward a chopper with the caption: “Did you know I have my own helicopter?”