In light of what is going on in the news I thought this would be interesting.

**Visualizing a billion dollars **

one billion is one thousand million (i.e., it has 9 zeros and equals 1,000,000,000)

A billion dollars is a lot of cash. Well, that depends on who you speak to. William Gates made a cool 50 billon last year. That translates to $416,666,666 a month. Bill Gates is the visionary sultan of Microsoft. According to Forbes there are 793 billionaires across the globe in 2005.

A billion is a difficult number to visualize, let’s put a billion into perspective:

A billion minutes ago, Jesus was alive.

How long would it take to count to one billion?

If you count one number a second without stopping until you reach a billion. That task would take you 31 years, 259 days, 1 hours, 46 minutes, and 40 seconds.

Nine-Hundred Million dollars (close to a billion)... The mound of cash would be 20 feet tall, 50 feet long, and 31¼ feet wide. It is about half as long as a conventional tennis court.

The single stack of dollar bills would climb to 300,000 feet or 56.8 miles.

Now most people will never see $1 billion themselves. If you live in the United States, there is a 1 in 800,000 chance that you’re a billionaire, which are about the same odds as winning half a million dollars playing Powerball. So ingenuity, hard work, and inheritance will net you a better rate of return than the lottery, but for those of us without such gifts, one billion dollars is only attainable when working in groups.

If you have a PH.D. then you already have a leg up on everyone else. Just gather together 278 of your doctorate friends and add up all the money all of you make during the 40 or so years of your career and presto!, One billion dollars.

Of course if you don’t have a PH.D and consider yourself just an ‘average’ guy, you will have to work a little harder, a little longer, or instead, just round up an additional 312 (278+312=590) of your ‘average’ guy friends.

Of course if you are in the unfortunate position of living below the poverty line, it will take an entire regiment (2,402) of your unfortunate brethren to come up with one billion dollars in a lifetime.

To bring it down to the annual level, you are going to need a lot of friends (25,856). This is assuming you and your friends represent the mean American, that’s mathematical mean. I’d imagine an unearthly level of charm is required to achieve this number of friends.

To put it another way, the taxes paid by everyone living in New York City is almost half, you would have to tax everyone in L.A., Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and Detroit to come up with the rest (103,424). Again, this is assuming everyone in New York is an ‘average’ American, which is certainly not the case considering 40 of the aforementioned billionaires live there. But you get the idea.

Before we get too far along on a socioeconomic tangent, lets switch gears. If you happen to be so lucky as to win the Powerball lottery jackpot, odds being 1 in 146 million, then you are well on your way to being a billionaire. Now all you have to do is win the jackpot every time for the whole year, that's what you would earn after taxes. Impossible? Surely not, why the odds are only 1 in 8 septendecillion. That’s 55 digits. If you are a string theorist, you might find those odds attractive.

The yearly profit of General Mills = one billion dollars. If you bought up all the stock you would enjoy the benefits of General Mill’s one billion dollars in profits. That’s a lot of Boo Berry.