Based on Microsoft's current stock price,Bill is worth: $24.52 Billion. Examine Bill Gates' wealth compared to yours:
Consider the average American of reasonable but modest wealth. Perhaps he has a net worth of $100,000. Mr. Gates' worth is 400,000 times larger. Which means that if something costs $100,000 to Joe Average, to Bill it's as though it costs 25 cents.
You can work out the right multiplier for your own net worth. So for example, you might think a new Lamborghini Diablo would cost $250,000, but in Bill Gates dollars that's 63 cents. That fully loaded, multimedia active dual-core laptop with the 1024x768 screen you've been drooling after? A penny. A nice home in a rich town Palo Alto, California? Two dollars. That nice mansion he's building? A reasonable $125 to him.
You might spend $100 on tickets, food and parking to take your family to see an NHL hockey game. Bill, on the other hand, could buy the team for 100 Bill- bills. You might buy a plane ticket on a Boeing 747 for $1200 at full-fare coach. In Bill-bills, Mr.. Gates could buy three whole 747s, one for him, one for Melinda and one for young Jennifer Katherine.
Yet More: Evan Marcus, a Systems Engineer from Fair Lawn, New Jersey who maintains a Bill Gates Net Worth Page on his web site, notes that Bill could buy every single major league team in Baseball, Football, Basketball and Hockey for only about 35% of his net worth -- plenty left over to buy a European sport. Of course then he wouldn't have around $150 for every person in the USA as he does now. Nor could he still give $6.70 to every person on the planet.
Marcus suggests that Bill could increase Michael Jordan's 1997 salary only 1300 times, but that he could buy 902 million subscriptions to TV guide. He's also fascinated by how much all this money would be if put into dollar bills. Laid end to end, the Bills would stretch 3.8 million miles -- to the moon and back over 8 times. They could paper over all of Manhattan 7 times, or be stacked 2,690 miles high -- watch out for satellites. They would weigh 40,000 tons -- 100 times the weight of one of those 747s he bought above.
But one thing Marcus says Bill can't do is even dent the national debt. Should he selflessly donate his stock to the U.S. treasury, he would reduce the $5.37 trillion national debt by well under 1%. It's good to put things in perspective.