Where are All the Billionaires in England?

Jan 19, 2002

RAY: When I was a kid, if you really made it, you became a millionaire. And now, today, being a millionaire is nothing. We have billionaires -- guys like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. I'm sure we have hundreds of billionaires in this country.

But, there is not one billionaire in England!

Why not?


RAY: Now, I'm sure a lot of people thought it had to do with their income tax structure, that they --

TOM: Ah. I'm sure a lot of people thought that --

RAY: Yeah.

TOM: -- erroneously.

RAY: And the pound is worth more than the dollar, so it's hard to amass a million times.

TOM: So, it wouldn't be a billion dollars. It would be a billion pounds.

RAY: And that would be harder.

TOM: That's a couple of billion dollars almost.

RAY: Right, but that isn't the answer either.

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: The answer is the definition. What we call a billion in this country is a thousand times a million.

TOM: Yes.

RAY: OK? But a billion in England is a million times a million. So, to be a billionaire in England, you would have to have a million million pounds, or you'd have to have the equivalent of a trillion, what we call a trillion dollars or a trillion pounds. And nobody in England has that kind of money, not even the Queen Mum.

TOM: Wow.

RAY: And we got a thousand million answers to this.

TOM: Did we really?

RAY: I guess everyone knew it but you know.

TOM: Yeah, well.

RAY: You've got to have an easy one once in awhile.

TOM: You do.

RAY: So who's our winner anyway?

TOM: The winner this week is the Reverend --

RAY: Wow.

TOM: The Reverend James D. Richardson. What a nice name. From El Paso, Texas.

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