How much money does Jeff Bezos have? Yes, he has 156 billion American dollars to his name, but how much money is that really? One way of translating how much money something really is to find a thing that costs that much without going over, or a convenient multiple (Jeff Bezos could fund the first moon landing 30 times over).
But even if he did fund the moon landing 30 times over, that would leave six billion more dollars on the table, which feels like not much in the context of 156 billion dollars, but is actually quite a lot. The text-based choose-your-own-adventure game ‘You Are Jeff Bezos’ by Kris Ligman illustrates pretty artfully just how much money the rest of of that money is.
There are many ways to use such a vast sum in real life, and the game explores many of those paths. For instance, as Jeff Bezos, you clear the big rocks out of the way first: It is $139 billion to repair Puerto Rico in full. But that leaves $17 billion, which you, Jeff Bezos, can use to abolish the electoral college ($380 million), double every Amazon employee’s salary ($15.8 billion), pay back taxes to the EU ($293 million), and still have $527 million left over.
With that remaining pittance, you can still fund 10 animal rescues for four years ($200 million), give Flint, Michigan clean water ($55 million), build 10 new public libraries ($150 million), and still have $121 million left over, still much more than a reasonable person can spend in their lifetime.
Maybe the most “fun” part of the game is not literally spending Jeff Bezos’s money, but remembering that he is only one of many, many newly minted, appallingly wealthy Silicon Valley tycoons. Each of them has not just a lot of money, but a truly earthshaking fortune with which every day they choose to do mostly nothing.