What would you do with $90 billion dollars?
That’s today’s question, because we’re taking a break from real life and escaping to something way more fun. Spending Bill Gates’ money!
(PS – Yes, it’s entirely possible that I’m writing this post just to avoid checking the damage to my personal capital account after last month’s historical crash. Instead, I’m just gonna close my eyes and pretend I’m one of the world’s richest dudes. 😎)
What is ‘Spend Bill Gates Money’?
So apparently, there’s this guy Neal (better known as Neal Fun from his clever url, https://Neal.Fun) who decided to put Bill Gates’ staggering wealth into perspective.
He built a game (it’s really just a website) that lets you pretend to be Bill Gates for a minute. The rules of “Spend Bill Gates Money” are pretty simple. You’ve got Bill’s $90 billion fortune, and you can buy absolutely ridiculous stuff with it. Think Rolexes, cruise ships, sports teams, etc.
Apparently, the game went viral on TikTok, which led someone to send it my way.
Think you’re up for the spend money game?
I thought so, too. Here’s how it went…
How I spent Bill’s fortune:
- I bought a lifetime supply of Big Macs cheeseburgers. I figured 1 per day for 100 years should do the trick. And yes, that’s 36,500 total Big Macs. (Total Cost: $70,000)
- Same for cups of coffee. Except nobody wants to drink alone, so might as well make it 73,000 lifetime cups. (Total Cost: $292,000)
- What better way to get back at my rich-guy rival, Jeff Bezos, than to one-up Amazon’s book collection? As in, how about buying one of every single book, ever made? This won’t be cheap, since according to Google, there’s been about 130 million books published in modern history. (Total Cost: $1.95 billion)
- Video Games? One of each, please. Apparently, there’s been 1,181,019 of those ever made, too. (Total Cost: $70.86 million) Then again, if I’m Bill Gates, I already own the rights to every Microsoft Xbox game ever made. Oh well!
- Even though big houses are overrated, if you’re gonna be a billionaire, I guess you gotta grab a $50 million mansion. Plus a Lambo, Ferrari, and Tesla. And a helicopter. Oh, and can’t leave out the $150K Monster Truck. And at this point, I might as well finish the stereotype with a helicopter and $10 million yacht! (Total Cost: $60.80 million)
- Well, S#!T, I can’t own a chopper without a F-16 Fighter Jet, can I? (Total Cost: $15 million)
- After that F-16 purchase, I got my personal Air Force on lockdown. But what about my Space Force? Guess I’ll need a rocket to go with my fighter jet. (Total Cost: $60 million)
- I’m a baseball fan, so why not buy a team? In fact, there’s only 29 teams in all of Major League Baseball, so if I’m Bill Gates, why not buy the whole league!? That way, unlike being a Texas Rangers fan, my team always wins! (Total Cost: $43.5 billion)
- Wait, what am I gonna do when baseball season is over? Guess I’ll have to buy the NBA, too. (Total Cost: $39 billion)
Total Spent: $84.54 billion
Amount Leftover: $5.46 billion
Well guys, I’m not a very good billionaire, because I failed to spend my last few billions.
Maybe you can do better?
Give Spend Bill Gates Money a try: https://neal.fun/spend/
How much money does Bill Gates have?
The funniest part about this game is that it actually underestimates Bill’s fortune.
The game assumes you have $90 billion to spend. However, in March 2020, Forbes estimated his net worth at $96.5 billion. (Down slightly from an estimated net worth of $107.1 billion in November 2019.)
Of course, like all billionaires, most of Bill’s net worth is tied to stocks, real estate, art collections, etc. So spending his money in real life would be much more difficult (if not impossible) than just writing checks for fighter jets.
How does Bill Gates spend his money in real life?
Apparently, shortly after becoming the richest man in the world, Bill Gates played this game himself.
And it seems he came to a similar conclusion as me.
In October 2019, Gates gave a speech where he posed the question of what to do with his riches:
Where can you put your Money?
You can try to spend it on yourself.
How many hamburgers can you eat?”
(Apparently, Gates agrees that 36,500 Big Macs is too many…)
How many suits are you really going to really going to wear? It’s pretty finite.”
He thought about leaving his fortune for his kids, but according to other interviews, he eventually decided to take the Warren Buffett approach. (Buffett famously believes you should leave your kids, “enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.”)
Eventually, process of elimination brought Bill Gates to spending his fortune on philanthropy.
In a way, it’s the only logical outcome,” -Bill Gates, 2019
Since starting the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation in 2000, Bill has personally donated $36 billion to the charity.
That means Bill Gates has officially given more money to charity than any human. Ever. And with the help of his contributions, his charity has raised a total of $47 billion, which also makes it the most charitable organization ever. (Good call, Bill, that’s definitely a better use for that money than my idea of buying the entire NBA…)
That said, Bill’s no pauper.
He owns a 66,000 square foot high-tech mansion near Seattle that’s worth $127 million. And some of the stories about it are wild…
10 crazy stats about Bill’s house and real estate collection
Allegedly, the house includes:
- Its own 60 foot pool, housed in a separate building.
- A shoreline with sand imported from the Caribbean.
- A trampoline room.
- Over $80,000 of computer screens within the house, not counting the $150K digital displays that rotate paintings. (That’s on top of Bill’s serious art collection, including a $36 million Winslow Homer painting bought in 1988.)
- A 2,100 square foot library, including rare artifacts like one of Leonardo da Vinci’s original journals, purchased at auction for $30 million.
- A 23 car garage, which houses a luxury car collection. (Bill is a huge Porsche fan)
He reportedly pays over a million dollars a year in property tax on the house alone. Plus, in addition to the house, Gates owns a massive real estate portfolio, including:
- A 4.5 acre lot with a 12,000 square foot mansion in Wellington, Florida. (Gates built it after buying the whole block for $27 million.)
- The 228 acre Rancho Paseana in California, which he bought for $18 million.
- A 492 acre ranch in Wyoming.
- Half of the “Four Seasons” Hotel Chain. Plus San Francisco’s Ritz Carlton.
Car and real estate collections aside, Bill’s still keeping the philanthropy strong. In March 2020, he surprised the world when he announced that he’d be retiring from the boards of Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway in order to “dedicate more time to philanthropic priorities including global health and development, education, and my increasing engagement in tackling climate change.”
Touche, Bill. We need more people like you.
In the mean time, I’ll be pretending to use your money to collect imaginary F-16 fighter jets and entire sports leagues.