As the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on economies and millions face losing their jobs as companies offload as many workers in order to stay afloat, some of the world’s richest people have only seen more slide into their accounts.
Tech giants are the big winners of the pandemic, with Amazon continuing its meteoric rise as one of the most valuable companies on Earth and its owner, Jeff Bezos, by far the wealthiest man on the face of the planet.
Since the start of the year, when Covid-19 first emerged in China, seven billionaires have made a combined $252billion (£227bn).
Examining the Bloomberg YTD index, which measures wealth increase since January 1, we will look at the billionaires who have added most to their wealth – despite the coronavirus pandemic.
7. Steve Ballmer – net gain: $17.4bn
Ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer helped guide the company to the staggering heights it enjoys today and has since been rewarded for his efforts.
Joining the company in 1980, he would go on to lead the mega-bucks company from between 2000 and 2014.
He is famed for his philanthropy and has invested millions into programmes and schemes involved to lift as many Americans out of poverty as possible.
6. Mark Zuckerberg – net gain: $21.1bn
Facebook founder and general oddball Mark Zuckerberg has seen an impressive increase of his wealth since the start of the year.
The tech billionaire recently followed Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos in the ultra-exclusive centibillionaire club – meaning he is now worth more than $100bn.
Mr Zuckerberg, 36, benefitted from his 13% stake in Facebook, which saw its stock surge after investors became increasingly optimistic that the company would make a rival to TikTok.
5. Mukesh Ambani – net gain: $21.5bn
Asia’s richest man managed to raise a monstrous $20bn by selling stakes in his own tech venture in order to raise funds to acquire several online retailers.
It is understood the vast amount of spending is in order to build an e-commerce platform that can compete against Amazon.
The Indian is hoping to beat Amazon within the country and dominate the market that alone could be worth billions to anyone.
4. MacKenzie Scott – net gain: $25.6bn
The ex-wife of Amazon Jeff Bezos added managed to net herself an incredible amount of wealth last year when the pair went trough a communal property divorce.
Their settlement granted MacKenzie with an eye-watering $35.6billion in Amazon stock, leaving Mr Bezos with 75% of the couple’s original share.
She has become known as a philanthropist and signed the Giving Pledge – a charitable campaign which is aimed at MacKenzie giving away most of her wealth over time.
3. Dan Gilbert – net gain: $26.8bn
While not making the top 10 billionaires in the world, Dan Gilbert is one of the biggest winners in terms of net gain since the year started – having steered himself away from the economic drain caused by Covid-19.
Having risen from a humble pizza deliveryman to NNA winning owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, Dan’s wealth has climbed significantly in recent months.
The 58-year-old founder of Rock Ventures saw his wealth soar with stocks in the company grow exponentially. His net worth is now understood to be about four times more than Bloomberg previously estimated
2. Elon Musk – net gain: $62.4bn
The world’s fourth-richest man has made mountains of money after the share price of Tesla skyrocketed since March.
Silicon Valley’s mega investor benefited from the 21% of shares he owns in the company, which only rose as Tesla continues to take a commanding position in the electric car industry.
Elon Musk ’s wealth has only risen despite sparking controversy on Twitter, the most famous being when he called a British diver who helped save trapped boys in a Thailand cave, “pedo guy”.
1. Jeff Bezos – net gain: $77.2bn
Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos continues to rake in serious amounts of cash – despite the global economy coming to a grinding halt during the coronavirus pandemic.
In fact, Forbes reported the American ended Tuesday with a record $197.8bn – although other groups haven’t claimed that – which is the highest ever amount the publication has estimated in the four decades it has tracked billionaire wealth.
The online giant continues to be the best-performing stock in the S&P 500 having ended trading earlier this week on $1.66trillion.