Thai Fruit Tycoon to Host Tournament For Daughter’s Suitor

Arnon Rodthong and Karnsita Rodthong speak at a news conference Monday.

Update March 6: Tournament’s off! Arnon Rodthong says the public interest and inquiries have become too disruptive to his family and durian hustle. Whoever marries his daughter will still get the 10-mill, however.

CHUMPHON — Bachelors of fortitude and diligence are hereby invited to a tournament: win a dame’s hand in marriage, win a 10 million baht purse and inherit a fruity empire.

Millionaire Arnon Rodthong said Monday that mass tryouts will be held April 1 for hundreds of applicants seeking to marry his youngest daughter. Arnon, whose durian distribution firm is among the largest in the south, has gone viral online by offering 10 million baht to the champion suitor.

Arnon announced that he wants to pass his business on to his 26-year-old daughter, Karnsita Rodthong but doesn’t want her to bear the burden alone. Hence the need for a competent and reliable partner, Arnon said.


“If I wait for a son-in-law to come here and ask [to marry her], it will be too slow, so I’m asking for one right now,” the 58-year-old durian tsar said, prompting Karnsita to laugh.

His qualifications include love for the durian trade, ability to work and a strong work ethic. The applicant must also not use drugs or gamble.

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Karnsita Rodthong and her durians.

To select the most qualified, the audition will be held before Arnon and Karnsita at their durian shop in Chanthaburi province. Gladiatorial combat? Durian racing? Applicants should come prepared for anything, as Arnon would not say what the trials will entail.

He said he decided to select them once and for all because too many suitors have applied since he announced the contest Sunday. A woman even called and asked if a position to be Arnon’s mia noi was open. Just as Arnon was speaking at his news conference, a phone call interrupted him and, sure enough, it was another suitor for Karnsita.

“Just come to Chanthaburi on April 1,” the businessman told the caller.


Arnon, who rebuilt his empire after losing his entire durian business to the 1997 financial crisis, said he has two sons and a daughter apart from Karnsita, but they are all married.

In reply to reporters’ questions, Karnsita said she’s only looking for a man with a good heart, not a handsome princeling.

“I’m not picky. I only want a man that I can bring to social events and take selfies with,” the China-educated businesswoman said. “I’m not very good-looking myself, so I’m okay with any appearance.”