Forbes recently published its annual billionaire’s list, naming the richest people in the world in 2015.
Claiming top spot once again was Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who is worth an estimated $79.2 billion – or R934.6 billion.
The 2015 list counted 1,826 billionaires across the globe, worth a total of $7.05 trillion – up from $6.4 trillion in 2014.
Now that we have already analysed who has gained and lost wealth over the past year, and seen where South Africa’s richest men and women fit in, we can move onto more pressing issues – like how we would spend all that money.
What you can buy with $79.2 billion
To keep things simple, and to allow for a wider choice, we looked at dollar prices of all items on the list.
Army of Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 SuperVeloces
Revealed at the Geneva Motor Show this week, the LP 750-4 is Lamborghini’s fastest production car ever made.
Packing a 6.6-litre V12 engine which produces 559kw, the Italian hypercar will do 0 – 100 in 2.8 seconds.
With Gates’ fortune and Lamborghini’s asking price of $370,000, you could buy an army of 197,027 of arguably the best-looking cars in the world.
If Lamborghini is willing to make that many, that is.
Fleet of Gulfstream G650ERs
The Gulfstream G650ER is unmatched when it comes comfort and luxury in a small private planes – or so I have read.
The G650ER has a range of 13,890km, takes up to 18 passengers, and can travel at maximum speed of 1,133km/h.
In term of its interior, the cabin includes HD wide-screen TVs, a convection oven, porcelain dinnerware, and handcrafted seats as standard.
At a price of $66.5 million each, Gates could purchase a 1,096-strong fleet of the Gulfstreams.
World’s most expensive island
Hawaii’s Lana’i island is currently owned by Oracle founder Larry Ellison, who bought 98% of the exotic paradise for $500 million.
Lana’i is the sixth-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at 364km², and, according to legend, used to be inhabited by man-eating spirits.
If you don’t mind sharing two percent of the island with the US government, and if you had access to Gate’s wealth, you could purchase the island 145 times over.
With tropical weather and beautiful scenery, it’s not a bad spot to retire.
Mozambique’s entire economy
Mozambique’s Gross Domestic Product for 2013 was $15.63 billion.
For those of you whose economics is a bit rusty, the GDP is the value of all goods and services produced in a country within a specific period of time – in this case 2013.
Gate’s fortune of $79.2 billion is just over 4.6 times more than our neighbours make in an entire year, and that’s including all the drunk tourists who spend millions on rum and raspberry cocktails every December.
Your favourite soccer teams, and all the players
According to Forbes’ list of wealthiest soccer teams in the world, if you had Gates’ money you would be able to buy the top five most valuable soccer teams in the world (and all their players) and still have cash to spare.
The top five teams by value are listed below.
- Real Madrid – $3.4 billion
- Barcelona – $3.2 billion
- Manchester United – $2.8 billion
- Bayern Munich – $1.8 billion
- Arsenal – $1.3 billion.
With the teams above only totaling $12.5 billion, this would hardly put a dent in Gates’ wealth.
Arsenal fans should petition Gates to buy the club – maybe then they would acquire some decent players and finally have a shot at winning the league.
About 10% of Apple
In February 2015, Apple broke a global record being the first publicly listed company in the world to be valued over $700 billion.
Currently, the electronics giant is worth even more than that, with a market capitalisation sitting at $752 billion.
The world’s richest man could own just over 10% of the world’s richest company, and has a total fortune equal to just less than half (44.5%) of its $178 billion cash reserves.