What is a Billionaire in America, how much money?

In America I have heard people referred to as being billionaires when they have more than 100 million dollars.
But isn’t a billion come just after 999,999,999 million?

And if a billionaire achieves that milestone at $100 million why does this story on CNN say that the movie made $114 million?

Should it be $1.14 billion?

Don’t Americans use the same math we use in Canada?

This was a recent headline on Cnn.com
"Spider-Man" swung into box office history with a record-smashing $114 million estimated haul from its first weekend

Can someone explain this to me please.


We’re just above the 49th…

As far as I know it takes a billion dollars ($1,000,000,000) in assets to be a billionaire, but perhaps I’m about to be enlightened.

There are some language games at play here.
In Europe (and maybe Canada as well) the word billion is different that in American English.

1,000,000 = Million in both USA and Europe
1,000,000,000 = Billion in USA, but = Thousand Million in Europe
1,000,000,000,000 = Trillion in USA but = Billion in Europe

I know that whenever there was some statement from USA government on spending a Billion Dollars on toilet seats or whatever, my friends in Europe were always shocked at the huge sum…and yes, it is huge no matter how you cut it, but not as huge as they thought.

Next variations on UK vs USA:
Don’t tell a Brit you will smack him on his fanny.

I have never run across this – in my US experience, a billion is always ten times 100 million.

No, it is come just after 999 million.

SDSTAFF Dex on American and British billions

ok well here is is then…

1,000,000,000 billion , right?

So if I do it like Xema I would be short a million dollars??


Yes, a billion comes after 999,999,999 dollars. You didn’t say dollars though, you said a billion comes after 999,999,999 million.

(okay, I know what you probably meant, but still…)

Um, wouldn’t it be a little difficult to smack a Brit on his fanny? :smiley:

According to Her Majesty’s own Treasury, British GDP last year rose from £956 billion to £1,000 billion. So, unless Britain is experiencing an unprecedented economic boom, ‘billion’ means the same here as it does in the US, one thousand million.

In Britain, yes.
In US, no.

You’re right, people who have more than $100 million are not billionaires.

I think what you’re seeing is a common mis-spelling of the highly-technical term “bazillionaires,” meaning people with so much money that it’s not worth counting any more. :smiley: (See also “jillionaire”)