# Dog-bit lawsuit: How big is an undecillion?

In the spirit of pointing out links to bizarre news stories, there’s this:

The Dog Who Might Bankrupt the World

Homeless dude, with hobby of outrageous and frivolous lawsuits, is bitten by dog he claims is rabid, gets (seemingly minor) wound on finger, but has part of finger amputated (or so the article says, or so he says, or whatever). Dude sues New York City, three hospitals or other medical facilities, K-Mart, an unnamed “Chinese couple” for taking a picture of him, the alleged dog owner, with a local bakery thrown in for good measure for allegedly having lousy croissants. Suit demands 2 undecillion dollars, or \$2 * 10[sup]36[/sup] which, absent any additional complications, should cover his medical bills.

Just how much is 2 undecillion? Article points out, this is more than there are dollars in the world. I’m thinking, it’s also rather more than the estimated number of protons in the universe. Question for better mathematicians/physicists than myself: Is that right?

Does his suit have a leg to stand on? Consider: If that dog was really rabid, then why is he still alive? Did he get the nasty series of rabies shots? If he’s still alive, could that be considered evidence that the dog probably wasn’t all that rabid?

Okay, I guess not quite. I just found this:

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shannon_number.

But close!

Headline:“MAN WINS EPIC LAWSUIT-EARTH DECLARES BANCRUPTCY!

\$2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. As of 2008 the value of the worlds assets was around 167 trillion. If I’ve done it right…that lawsuit accounts for 22 times the value of all financial assets.

Do you think they’ll settle for \$2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000?

No, you haven’t done it right. Assuming that your numbers are correct though:
2e36 / 167e12 = 1.2e22 (i.e., 12 thousand billion billion … i.e., way more than 22)

That’s assuming I did it right, which is a big assumption.

Have the world’s liquor stores agree to set the price for Wild Turkey at \$1 undecillion. (Don’t worry, there would be no money to pay anyone to enforce anti-trust laws.) They could agree to split the profits on any sales. In no time, the money would be redistributed and the economy would slowly start humming again.

Will SD be awarding a Vashbul Memorial Economics Prize?

Just think, had he invested that \$1 undecillion right before the economic crash, his assets would only be worth \$7.54 now.

2 undecillion divided by 167 trillion came back as 1.1976048e+22 which looks to be 11,976,048,000,000,000,000,000. (little under 12 sextillion) I knew I screwed up something. I really need to learn to think in scientific notation.

Yep, that’s it. A sextillion is a thousand billion billion, or a billion trillion. Actually, it’s fun to say sextillion though. I should have gone with that.

But if he had invested it right after the crash…he could totally afford a cardboard box now.

Yay! I calculated back (and still may have it wrong) as to just how much that is. It may be off, but I came up with…he’s asking for the equivalent of 27000x the worlds assets per second, since the beginning of the universe.

(12 sextillion/14 billion/365/24/60/60)

If the entire mass of the solar system was made of 24K gold and could be sold at the current price, it would be a few thousandths of the amount of the lawsuit. 1 Solar system worth of gold= \$8.2910^34. Lawsuit= \$2.0010^37. This assumes a gold value of \$1295.90/ Oz.

I sure hope this guy has direct deposit. Carrying that out of the courtroom would be nothing short of a bitch.