What would you do with a loose billion?

Thanks to the new Forbes 400 list, we’ve got billionaire on the brain.

Congrats to the 26 Florida billionaires who made the cut.  Florida ranked fourth in billionaireitis and California was #1 with 83 billionaires. In Florida Micky Arison came in at #1. Maybe that’s why he always looks so tan and studly. With 26 billionaires and that kind of cash floating all around Florida, it’s amazing that the most expensive home on the market is just $60 million (pictured left).

So, how big a number is a billion? Fasten your seatbelt.

A billion is a thousand million. If you wanted to count to a billion, it would take 31 years, 251 days, 7 hours and 39 seconds (if you counted one per second). A billion seconds ago, it was 1958. A billion dollars is 266 small U-Haul boxes jammed end-to-end and floor to ceiling in crisp $100 dollar bills. So you think a billionaire has a “ton” of money?  Well, a ton of $100 bills is about only, $90,800,000. Chump change. Most commercial jets fly about 7 miles high.  If you took crisp, new $1,000 bills, it would soar 63 miles high.

So, what would a billion dollars buy if you wanted be change the world?  According to The World Land Trust website and a little of my bad math, a billion would get you 12. 3 million acres of rainforest.  And in time, a cure for “tons” of diseases and reduce carbon offsets and stuff like that. That’s what I would consider.

Pretend just for a second that you had a loose billion and wanted to change the world. What would you do with it? ~Mike


17 thoughts on “What would you do with a loose billion?

  1. Hi Mike ! I would help the children, and the homeless. If I had a billion …of course, with so many living in poverty, I don’t know just how far this billion would stretch, so I would invest a good part of it, to make it go further.

    And ….buy a nice car ( have not had a car since 1978!) complete with chauffeur, because of my disabilities.

    1. Hi Sunny-

      Thanks for your thoughts. A billion goes farther than you would think. And for your kindness, you deserve to get that new car and chauffeur!

      My best to you and thanks again!


  2. First of all, what makes you think I don’t already have a loose billion floating around, my name isn’t Bill Gates, and I don’t just use my @SueanneShirzay twitter account to goof on all my friends who actually know it’s ME… BILL GATES?

    Easy. If I had a billion I’d first take care of flood victims in the US and Pakistan. The thought of being surrounded by water and having everything and everyBODY taken away from you suddenly makes me a little crazy. Maybe it’s because it could so easily happen to me, living on an island as I do.

    As I did that, I know I would feel so great being able to help like that… that I would find a way to make THAT billion turn into 10 billion because… a billion, though it sounds like so much… is so little compared to what it takes to get the job done in this crazy world we live in.

    And… I’d probably buy a few pairs of shoes. Hey. Mama needs new shoes.

    1. Hi Sueanne-

      Interesting to hear what you and everyone would do. In our “new normal” world, there are so many things that need our financial and physical attention.

      This article titled, “The $600 billion challenge” is a great read on this.


      I don’t have a status update, but these people walk the walk. And please do splurge on some new shoes. Just go easier than Imelda Marcos.


  3. It is obscene for one person to have so much money. He should give some to me.

    Seriously, I would plough the money into countries most affected by famine and use it for land & farming techniques & technology, irrigation, etc. (I don’t known the technical terms but I could pay someone who does) so that famine becomes an anachronism. Teach a man to fish and all that.

    1. Dear Tilly-

      These amounts of money are mind boggling. While I’m far from an expert, Google can make me one.

      According to World Food Programme, “925 million people do not have enough to eat – more than the populations of USA, Canada and the European Union.”

      For more information, go here: http://www.wfp.org/hunger/stats

      Thanks for your input. Most of us who are on a computer can’t imagine what it’s like to be literally starving.


  4. First, I would buy Mike LaMonica a Fresca. Then I would feed the hungry & homeless across the US. I would take some money put it into a trust let it accrue and then use those funds to educate children that cannot afford higher education.

    Once that is done I would work my way across the globe doing the same thing for the children, who are the future of this planet.

    1. Hi Jarret-

      I’m trying to wean off Fresca as per your instructions.

      I love your idea. The truth is that when you invest in our kids and in their education, your are investing in everything. Children are our greatest natural resource.

      Best to ya.


  5. With a billion… I would be pretty selfish with at least half. I would set up a foundation with what was left. Probably buy some mosquito nets for Africa and pay for technology for schools in under privileged areas.

  6. Thanks for mentioning the World Land Trust. Hopefully our work will also help the human problems of the world. Without wild places, without nature, without wildlife, there is little hope for the future. What we are doing is tiny in the big scheme of things, but at least we are doing something. Every acre saved is real, and helps. And an acre doesn’t cost a billion dollars — it often costs less that $100. And that’s something a lot of people can afford. Mind you if you are a billionaire reading this, I am sure you could actually spare the odd million. There would still be $999,000,000 left.

    John A Burton, CEO World Land Trust

    1. Dear John-

      Thank you for commenting on this post and for doing what you do at the World Land Trust. Actually, you are doing something big in the big scheme of things.

      I appreciate it and keep it up. Hats off to all of you.


  7. My loose billion? I am a sucker for starving children that drink sewage if water is available at all and eat bugs until they die from starvation. I’d start with the hungry children in the US but certainly wouldn’t stop here.

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