It’s often said if Bill Gates saw a $1,000 bill on the pavement on the way to work, it just wouldn’t be worth his time and effort to pick it up.
The 62-year-old Microsoft co-founder has united a generation of computer nerds and business brains alike in seeking their entrepreneurial fortunes.
His palatial home contains a trampoline room as well as a huge reception room which can seat up to 200 guests.
Oh, and he has sand delivered from St. Lucia to keep his personal beach a regular golden paradise. Y’know, like you do…
However, there’s a new ultimate Richie Rich on the block, in the – perhaps unsurprising – form of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
The 53-year-old retail entrepreneur is having a very good start to the year indeed, with his net worth hitting $105.1 billion as of January 8, according to Bloomberg.
This soars above the incredible $100 billion worth amassed by Gates way back in April 1999, making Bezos the wealthiest man ever.
Gates is currently worth $93.3 billion, having already gained $1.49 billion in 2018, according to the Daily Mail. So although he’s not exactly counting the pennies just yet, this has definitely shaken things up in Fancyville.
Amazon’s extraordinary feat is due to a hike in their share price in addition to a phenomenal 12-month surge which increased the share price by nearly 57 per cent.
Amazon shares have soared by 6.6 per cent this year, harnessing 89 per cent of online spending among leading festive season retailers during the crucial five-week shopping period following Thanksgiving.
Acquiring supermarket chain Whole Foods has significantly helped to boost shares, as has expanding the range of devices connected with digital assistant Alexa.
This new leap has placed Bezos firmly ahead of Gates in the exclusive game of ‘Who is the most ridiculously wealthy?’
Interestingly, the famously generous Gates would have a net fortune surpassing $150 billion if not for his extensive philanthropic efforts.
The charitable business magnate has given away a lot of his assets through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF); including nearly 700 million Microsoft shares and $2.9 billion in cash.
BMGF supports various causes across the world, tackling issues such as healthcare, education and extreme poverty on an enormous scale.
In this month’s TIME magazine, edited by the Microsoft magnate, Gates writes about his approach to giving with passion:
To some extent, it is good that bad news gets attention. If you want to improve the world, you need some- thing to be mad about.
But it has to be balanced by upsides. When you see good things happening, you can channel your energy into driving even more progress.
Bezos on the other hand has previously been criticised for his comparatively stingy approach to charitable causes, however it is thought he may well support important issues once he has the time.
Ed Lazowska, Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, told Bloomberg Technology:
Jeff is probably not quite ready to step down yet, but this is a guy who, like Bill, is fixated on changing the world in really important ways,
It’s a full-time job. You have to imagine he will be every bit as philanthropic as Gates. Nobody has any right to make demands, and they have to give the guy time.
Oh, and if like me you have a weird fascination with the spending habits of the filthy rich, Bezos owns a $65 million private jet and one of his many mansions used to be an actual museum.
Really puts your new year ASOS splurge into perspective…