What would you do with so much money that you literally could swim in it, like Scrooge McDuck from Disney’s DuckTales? Would you buy everything you could to your heart’s content, and then some, or would you give it away to charities, foundations, reinvest it or start in new and exiting ventures, like space exploration or treasure hunting? Would you keep working or would you “retire” early?
Do you know who the wealthiest woman in the U.S. and the world is? Also, meet the ten wealthiest people in the U.S.
Disclaimer: Some numbers can be different from Forbes, but this article follows the numbers provided by Movoto’s map. Click here for the 50 wealthiest people in America, by state: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.
10. Virginia: Jacqueline Mars; the candy queen – $20 Billion
Jacqueline and her two brothers own the secretive Mars company, founded by their grandfather’s kitchen in 1911. In 1929, their father joined the company around the time they invented the malt-flavored nougat inside a Milky Way and Snickers bars. M&Ms were sold exclusively to the military during World War II in 1941. Mars also owns other food companies such as Uncle Ben’s rice and pet food companies like Pedigree and Whiskas. She was in the news last year after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of reckless driving in connection with a crash in Virginia that killed an 86-year-old woman.
(Photo: M&Ms chocolates. AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
9. Texas: Alice Walton; Wal-Mart heiress – $35.3 Billion
She’s one of the heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune, founded by her father Sam Walton in 1962. With her fortune, she’s focused on curating art and even opened a museum in her home of Bentonville, AK, the Crystal Bridges Art Museum. In her art collection: Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell and Georgia O’Keeffe.
(Photo: Alice Walton, left, Rob Walton, center, and Jim Walton, right, children of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. founder the late Sam Walton, speak on stage during the annual Wal Mart shareholder’s meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas, 2008. AP Photo/April L. Brown)
8. Arkansas: Jim Walton; youngest child of Sam Walton – $35.7 Billion
The chairman and CEO of Arvest Bank Group, Inc., and chairman of Community Publishers, Inc., which operates newspapers in AK, MO and OK, Jim Walton is the largest individual shareholder of Wal-Mart with stake exceeding $31 billion, the retail giant founded by his father Sam Walton. Jim is the youngest of his siblings and is currently in the board of directors at the retail megastore.
(Photo: Rob Walton, left, Chairman of the Board, looks at his brother, Jim Walton, right, as he speaks during the annual Wal-Mart Shareholders meeting in Fayetteville, Ark., Friday, June 6, 2014. The annual Wal-Mart shareholder’s meeting drew about 14,000 people, including its workers from around the globe. AP Photo/Sarah Bentham)
7. Nevada: Sheldon Adelson; the casino king – $35.7 Billion
Sheldon Adelson grew up sleeping on the floor of a Boston tenement house. Early on, he showed signs of entrepreneurship: at 12 he bought his first newspaper corner with a $200 loan from his uncle. Over the decades, he built his fortune by running a vending machine business, selling newspaper ads, helping small businesses go public, developing condos and hosting trade shows. He sold his tech conference Comdez for $862 million in 1995 and then spent $1.5 billion building the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.
(Photo: Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO Sheldon Adelson speaks at the Global Gaming Expo, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014, in Las Vegas. AP Photo/John Locher)
6. Wyoming: Christy Walton; another Wal-Mart heiress, the wealthiest woman in America and the world – $36.7 Billion
She’s worth more than L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt and in the U.S., the next richest woman is her sister-in-law Alice Walton. Christy married into the Walton family. Her husband, John Walton, died in an airplane crash in 2005. Not only does her inherited fortune come from the Wal-Mart megastores, but also from a side investment that her husband had made: First Solar, a solar energy company. She also has a 26 percent stake in Arkansas’ largest commercial bank, Aarvest Bank. She leads a private life in Jackson, WY and is a philanthropist donating to different charities and is co-chair the Children’s Scholarship Fund, an organization that makes private education affordable for low-income children co-founded by John Walton. She also produced “Bless Me Ultima,” a film adaptation of Rudolfo Anaya’s book and received an award from the Imagen Foundation, an organization that promotes employment and positive images of Latinos in TV and film. She was also ranked as the highest female philanthropist by Conde Nast Portfolio magazine.
(Photo: View of the Grand Tetons, Jackson, WY)
5. Kansas: Charles Koch; one of the brothers – $41.4 Billion
Capitalists by nature, Charles Koch and his brother David Koch, who is coming up on this list, own a long list of different companies between them and their latest acquisitions: Flint Group, an ink maker, and PetroLogistics. Charles has been chairman of Koch Industries since 1967. Headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, Koch Industries employs more than 100,000 people worldwide, 60,000 of those in the U.S. Their companies range from oil pipelines, refineries, manufacturers of building materials, Dixie Cups, the LYCRA fiber for clothes and other applications, toilet paper, fertilizers, polymers, biofuels… Some have attributed the Koch’s success to their development and implementation of “Market-Based Management,” a business philosophy described in Charles’ book “The Science of Success.” They are also involved in politics, education, science and research, having founded a great variety of institutes such as the Institute of Human Studies, Cato Institute, Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Bill of Rights Institute and the Market-Based Management Institute. He received a bachelor’s degree in general engineering in 1957 and two master’s degrees in nuclear and chemical engineering (1958-1959) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
(Photo: sunflower field in Kansas)
4. New York: David Koch; the youngest of the brothers – $41.4 Billion
The younger brother of Charles Koch, David shares control of Koch Industries, the second largest private company in America. David funded a $65 million renovation of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which dedicated the David H. Koch Plaza to him in September. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, joined Koch Industries in 1970 and today is the executive vice president and board member.
(Photo: In this Aug. 30, 2013, file photo, Americans for Prosperity Foundation Chairman David Koch speaks in Orlando, Fla. AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)
3. California: Larry Ellison; the Oracle man – $49.4 Billion
Larry Ellison is better known as the ex-CEO and founder of Oracle. However, he stepped down as CEO of the tech company barely a month ago. He currently is the executive chairman of Oracle Corporation and chief technology officer. He’s also the main backer of America’s Cup winner Oracle Team USA. According to Forbes, Ellison never met his biological father and was raised in Chicago by his great-aunt.
(Photo: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison holds up the Auld Mug on podium as the crew celebrates after Oracle Team USA won the America’s Cup sailing event over Emirates Team New Zealand on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, in San Francisco. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
2. Nebraska: Warren Buffett; billionaire charity-giver – $63.1 Billion
Even though he keeps giving away his fortune, his bank account (or accounts?) keep expanding. His company Berkshire Hathaway owns dozens subsidiaries in the railroads, insurance, energy and other industries. He is a philanthropist and has given away $2.8 billion to the Gates Foundation and his children’s foundations, topping nearly a $23 billion in a decade of donations. An article on CNBC from October 22, 2014 claims that his IBM and Coca-Cola investments have lost $2.52 billion this week.
(Photo: In this file photo from May 5, 2014, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett laughs in Omaha, Neb. AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
1. Washington: Bill Gates; Microsoft Bill – $80 Billion
Born in Seattle, Bill Gates has always been computer programming prodigy. At age 13, he knew that he would pursue his passion throughout college. He and fellow high school friend Paul Allen founded Microsoft, the hardware and software giant. He is also one the world’s biggest philanthropists: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given away $30 billion since 2000. Gates stepped down as chairman this past February.
(Photo: Bill and Melinda Gates talk to Indian writer Chetan Bhagat, unseen, in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. The interaction was organized by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. AP Photo /Manish Swarup)