Best/worst superpowers to become anonymously rich

People frequently discuss what it would be like to have various superpowers… flight, invisibility, super strength, yada yada.

But suppose that you don’t want to be a famous superhero, or even a hero at all. You just want to get filthy rich in a way that will arouse no suspicion from anyone, so you can live in a big mansion somewhere rolling on your piles of money, and no one will suspect you of anything. (The more anonymous the better… so for instance, if you use your superpower to win a billion dollar megamillions jackpot, no one will necessarily suspect you of having powers, but you’ll at least be a name that shows up on the news, etc. So that’s less good than a path to riches where you never show up on the news at all.)

Also, you’re lazy AF, so the less work you have to do, the better. So mind reading could probably get you rich if you spent a lot of time learning about the stock market, then a lot of time managing to go get close to CEOs and read their minds and do a bunch of insider trading… and frankly I’m getting exhausted just typing this.

Also, you have at least some ethics. So “I have mind control, and mind control Jeff Bezos to give me all his money and forget he did” gets minus points for being unethical, whatever we might think of Jeff Bezos (assuming you could figure out how to make that all happen unnoticed).

Of the normal class of super/mutant/magical powers, which would be most helpful towards this aim, and how would you use it? Which would be hardest to monetize?

Using your powers of prognostication, view tomorrow’s business news, use that knowledge to buy or sell today’s stock discreetly on Etrade (no human broker to wonder why you’re so smart), cash out over time, pay your taxes, and live a life of leisure.

I dunno do any super heros have the ability to tell the future? I’m no expert but can’t think of any.

Its not “knowing next weeks lottery” money, but there must be some money in performing dangerous and difficult engineering tasks. I guess morally it can go either way, on one hand its a dangerous situation some non-superhero no longer needs to put themselves in, on the other plenty of non-superheros rely on being paid to put themselves in dangerous situations.

Dream Girl!

Use your super strength to create diamonds that you sell as a jewelry distributor? They probably make good money, and if they don’t have to pay for their inventory, they’d made a lot more.

Use your Giantman/Antman powers to take small amounts of gold and turn it into large amounts of gold.

Well, Captain Hindsight can tell the past. It’s not a blessing, it’s a curse.

Depending on how you feel about the morality aspect there are lots of ways to make your own news. You could short sell a stock and then cause something terrible happen to the company. Invisibility could allow you to spy on the ceo and find ways to get him to resign in shame. You could blow up equipment or slow down or stop key shipments.

I always thought that earth-moving powers could be best used to bring minerals and metals to the surface, and quietly turned in as proceeds from a mine.

Build a nice underground bunker, call it a mine, shift 10 ounces of gold to the surface on the regular, and soon you’re a millionaire.

I would say the type of invisibility that allows you to make your clothes, etc, invisible as well. In other words, whatever comes into close contact with your body also becomes invisible.

Slip into a bank vault when the door is standing open (just remember to wear gloves to avoid fingerprints, and walk very quietly). Do that several times, and you can retire in luxury.

Laziness is relative of course, if you have super speed. How about scouring the English countryside with x-ray vision (or some other place metal detecting is legal and you get to keep a good chunk of buried treasure you find) until you find some horde worth 10s or 100s millions, then boom you just discovered it with your metal detector! For a non-superhuman that would be centuries of work, but with super speed and x-ray vision could be done in your lunch break (with time left over to stop off for plowmans and a pint in a beer garden)

Similarly for undersea treasure. In both cases you can have no moral qualms as you can make sure its a museum that buys it off you, not a rich collector.

One really good one would probably Domino’s good luck/probability manipulation. I think the comics have retconned this to some degree by making it hard to use it proactively, but assuming it works somewhat like how it’s shown in Deadpool 2 it’d be pretty killer.

You could buy a lottery ticket, maybe not the big money jackpots but some of the smaller but still meaningful ones, and win. You could pull the lever on the progressive slots at a couple casinos and score some sizable coin that’s not necessarily going to get you into the papers. You could day trade and consistently make great money and you could hold some long positions for megabucks down the road. You could buy real estate and flip it when there’s the inevitable discovery of some valuable minerals or when it’s picked as the the site for a major development project. You’d basically be Warren Buffett but even more infallible. Your good luck would also pay dividends in keeping your identity under the radar.

There’s of course a number of mutants and supers who have different forms of precognition, usually short term, which would probably get you to the same place but the risk of unintended consequences makes this less ideal than the good luck one.

Big lottery tickets are, as noted, associated with some publicity - though a few states do allow it to be done anonymously. Arranging for a single Powerball win in such a state seems to me like the best bet for a quick one-off win that does not require ongoing work: you’ll have to pay taxes etc, but once that’s done, live a quiet-ish lifestyle and you’ll likely go unnoticed.

What powers would you need to do that? Being able to see the future is pretty obvious - but you’d need to be able to pick a number that only one or two players had picked. Then you rush to that state, and buy your ticket with that number.

Alternately of course you could have telekinetic powers that would force the little ping-pong balls to select “your” number. No way of knowing how many others had that number, though.

Stock market is a bit trickier, especially if you want a one-and-done windfall. Someone suddenly making 100 million in the stock market might get the attention of someone at the SEC. You’d need to do it much more gradually - start with a few thousand and very slowly ramp that up into the millions. Even so someone might notice it and start investigating you for insider trading. Hard to prove that, of course, but you don’t even want the hassle, right?

But as with the lottery, a certain amount of precognition would be called for. OR the ability to influence luck, or randomness, or something, so that it turns out your way more often than a simple coin flip would suggest.

Finding rare minerals etc. is a good one, if a lot more work. You want it to be on the up-and-up, so you’d have to be able to locate gold or whatever someplace non-obvious that isn’t too expensive to get at, and purchase that land cheaply. If your power has the ability to, say, raise a vein of gold that’s 150 feet underground, to 30 feet underground, that would certainly help. Clairvoyance and/or telekinesis are your friends here.

Predictive abilities - a bit more subtle than “what are tomorrow’s Lottery numbers” - would be a good long-term plan. If you know what things will be trendy in a year, you can invest in those. If you know what wars are likely, invest your money accordingly. Some kind of psychic ability to influence such trends could be useful as well (See Connie Willis’ book Bellwether).

Teleportation is a pretty good go-to skill, if your aim is to get rich and you don’t care about stealing. Steven Gould’s book Jumper is about just such a person.The downside of a cash theft is laundering that money. You can buy a lot of stuff with cash, but nothing like a house or car. If you steal art or other valuables, you need to have a trustworthy fence and a way of getting paid into a secure bank somewhere.

The ability to affect others’ emotions would be pretty useful. Imagine you wanted to get into acting. If your ability wasn’t just for people in the room, but everyone who saw you even in a movie, you could be dragging in massive movie salaries for a couple months a year of work - none of that working your way up the ladder and proving your chops stuff, but literally an instant hit… Get a good agent, get good deals on residuals / royalties / whatever, make movies for 5-10 years, and never work again unless you want to.

Yeah, looks like I got beaten to the “luck” idea. Twice. Just my luck.

But Domino isn’t as good an example anymore. But… there was a Marvel/X-Men hero a while ago, Longshot, whose power was being lucky. I thought that’d be cool, back in the day…

And of course, our own Teela Brown. The original was one of the cleverest SF concepts I’d come across… Earth goes to a lottery system for the right to have children. Which if you think about it, means humanity is genetically selecting for lucky people. Generations later, you get a Teela.

Brilliant idea (by Larry Niven in the Ringworld books).

Now, I’d be tempted to go to Vegas and play roulette and Hold’Em, but I’d quickly get on a casino list. So I guess I agree that winning a lottery (but not a big, flashy one) would be more anonymous.

Depends on how lucky you are - with enough of it they’ll never even catch on. The supervisors and dealers would always get distracted, the people around you would win big enough to camouflage you, the camera footage would glitch when they try to review the tapes, etc etc.

Shoot, if my luck is less “wacky probability field in my direct vicinity” and more “the universe just sort of looks out for me,” then I don’t have to go to the casino at all. I can just have friends and family go in on my behalf and split the winnings with them.

But, as someone mentioned above, some states allow anonymous lotto winners. That’s the fastest and easiest way to anonymous wealth. Wait for a giant payout and then cash in. Do it again in a decade if you need to.

Hey, if I’m lucky enough, I can just walk around looking down… “Hey, here’s a hundred dollar bill, oh, and a bag of gold dust under that parking meter… next to that stack of bearer bonds. I should go on walks more often!”

There are several.

The ability to predict the future - you can just figure out which stock to pick and which lottery numbers to pick

Psychokinesis - Do they still do live action lottery ball drawings? If so just use your power to pick which ball goes up the tube and win the lottery. Or go to vegas at the roulette wheel and always bet on the number/color you pick.

Materialization of matter - just create precious metals and diamonds out of thin air

Superintelligence - use your intelligence to beat the market, invent something profitable or create a billion dollar company as a silent partner.

Teleportation - in the movie Jumper the main character uses this power to rob banks. You could steal quite a bit doing this. Also if you can teleport off earth, just get diamonds, precious metals, etc from asteroids and other planets.

Mind control - use mind control to get a billionaire to hand over some of his/her money.

*I neatly sidestep the ethics question by saying 'only use these powers to steal from evil people. Done and done.

In addition, the Scarlet Witch’s mutant abilities originally were to cause random/unlikely things to happen, so that was a form of probability manipulation, too. She typically used those powers to cause unlucky/unlikely things to happen to her foes, but I don’t remember if she could also cause unlikely-but-lucky things to happen, too.

A bit gruesome, but if you had the power to regrow limbs or other body parts (either instantaneously or over a matter of hours, like Deadpool style), you could probably support a lucrative market for organ transplants (kidneys and such).

I want a magic credit card. You just never get a credit statement.

Rather than direct theft, which as you note comes with complications on how to deal with the cash or valuables you have improperly acquired, a better wealth vector for a teleporter may be extortion. You can easily get somewhere you’re not supposed to be, videotape a CEO (say) committing an illegal or embarrassing act, and then leave; and then later, when the target is alone, you teleport back in to make the threat of disclosure and arrive at a deal. Couple days later, you’re on their company payroll with an ill-defined and unsupervised job, drawing a salary in exchange for staying quiet. Put together a few of these arrangements, and you’re basically set for life, with only a very small number of people having any idea what really happened.

Of course, this is a gross violation of the “you have some ethics” requirement, but (shrug).