Most the time people in America describe a billion as a thousand million.
But for this example, I would like to describe a billion as:
- one million thousand or
- ten million hundred
So that means you can visualize a stack of a billion dollars on your dining room table in the following different configurations:
Thinking in terms of $100 bills:
- Count out 50,000 stacks of 200 (two hundred) each, $100 bills
- Count out 20,000 stacks of 500 (five hundred) each, $100 bills
- Count out 10,000 stacks of 1000 (one thousand) each, $100 bills
$10K Bundles of $100 Bills
You could count out stacks of 100 each, $100 bills (like this picture of bundled hundreds).
Each bundle is $10,000 each.
You would need to count out 100,000 of these $10,000 stacks to create $1,000,000,000 (one billion dollars).
You’d better have a very large dining room table.
Stacks of $100 Bills
Now it gets even more interesting when we start looking at stacks of $100 bills another way.
Suppose you wanted to make a single $1,000,000,000 (one billion dollar) stack of $100 bills.
It would have to be 10,000,000 bills high.
That is a stack of 10,000,000 – $100 bills…
According to the department of treasury a bill is .0043 inches thick. That means that 10,000,000 thick stack would be 43,000 inches tall or 3,573 feet tall – a little over 2/3 mile high.
Stacks of $1000 Bills
When we think of a $1Billion in terms of stacks of $1000 bills, a single stack would be 1,000,000 bills thick and would reach a height of 4,300 inches tall or 358.88 feet – 1.19 times the length of a football field – high
Remember a Million Thousand Earlier?
Now those stacks of $1000 bills on your dining room table would be could be configured this way:
- Count out 1000 stacks, 1000 high each of $1000 bills
- Count out 500 stacks, 2000 high each of $1000 bills
- Count out 10,000 stacks of 100 each of $1000 bills
That’s 10,000 stacks of $100,000 bundles of $1000 bills. Whoa, that’s a lot of thousands – a million thousand.
Another Way of Looking at $1 Billion (1,000,000,0000) Dollars
- $1 Billion of $100 bills end to end is approximately 55,000,000 inches long.
- $1 Billion of $1 bills end to end is about 86,805.56 miles long, approximately 3.49 times the circumference of the earth
A Billion Is A Huge Number – How About One-Part-Per-Billion…
1. One 4-inch hamburger in a chain of hamburgers circling the earth at the equator 2.5 times.
2. One silver dollar in a roll of silver dollars stretching from Detroit to Salt Lake City.
3. One kernel of corn in a 45-foot high, 16-foot diameter silo.
4. One sheet in a roll of toilet paper stretching from New York to London.
5. One second of time in 31.71 years.
A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but an advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of it’s releases. I added a few of my own here too…
- A billion seconds ago it was 1976.
- A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
- A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age
- A billion hours is about 114,155.25 years
- A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet
- A billion inches is 15,783 miles, more than halfway around the earth
- A billion dollars of the US debt – paying it off by one dollar a second – takes 31 years, 259 days, 1 hour, 46 minutes, and 40 seconds
- A billion dollars ago was only 3 hours, at the rate our government is spending it (based on figures from usgovernmentspending.com ) and we’re talking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – 365 days a year – Congress will spend a little over 8 times that amount every 24 hours every single day in 2008
The next time you hear a politician use the word ‘billion’ in a casual manner, think about whether you want the ‘politicians’ spending YOUR tax money – to the tune of ~$2,931,200,000,000 (that’s 2931.2 Billion to be spent by Congress in 2008 )
Give or take a billion…
Washington, D. C < HELLO! > Are all your calculators broken ??