Billionaire Sheldon Adelson Was Year's Biggest Winner, With Fortune Jumping $15 Billion

Posted: Dec 23 2013, 8:36am CST | by , in News

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson Was Year's Biggest Winner, With Fortune Jumping $15 Billion
Photo Credit: Forbes

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Las Vegas Sands chief exec Sheldon Adelson hit the jackpot in 2013. The gambling tycoon’s net worth soared $15 billion, or 68%, through Friday, December 20. He is now worth just over $37 billion, and he’s climbed from the nation’s 11th richest this fall to number 5 at the moment. Put another way, his fortune grew by a staggering $41 million a day. Adelson added more to his fortune than any other person, thanks largely to the success of his casinos in Macau and Singapore, which led to stellar financial results. Not even cancelling plans to open a Sands casino in Madrid could dampen his year.

The second biggest gainer, in dollar terms, was Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Shares of the social network shot past its 2012 IPO price for the first time in July and the firm joined the S&P 500 on Friday.   Still not 30-years-old, Zuckerberg is worth nearly $26 billion, more than double what he was worth a year ago. That means that in percentage terms, he actually beat out Adelson (though Ubiquiti Networks’ Robert Pera has bragging rights as the American billionaire with biggest percentage gain in 2013, up 200%).

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, whose fortune has more than doubled in the past two years, also had a stellar year adding $13.3 billion, or 53 times the sum he paid for the Washington Post in August.

The full list of the top 10 biggest dollar gainers in the U.S., measured from December 31, 2012 through December 20, 2013, is listed below.

2013 Biggest Gainers In Dollar Terms

1. Sheldon Adelson

Net worth: $37.2 billion

Up: $15 billion (+68%)

2. Mark Zuckerberg

Net worth: $25.8 billion

Up: $13.6 billion (+112%)

3. Jeff Bezos

Net worth: $36.9 billion

Up: $13.3 billion (+56%)

4. Warren Buffett

Net worth: $60 billion

Up: $12.1 billion, (+25%)

5. Christy Walton

Net worth: $37.5 billion

Up: $10.7 billion (+ 40%)

6. S. Robson Walton

Net worth: $35 billion

Up: $10.1 billion (+ 41%)

7. Alice Walton

Net worth: $35 billion

Up: $10.1 billion (+ 40%)

8. Jim Walton

Net worth: $35.5 billion

Up:  $10 billion (+ 39%)

9. Larry Page

Net worth: $30.5 billion

Up: $9.4 billion (+ 26%)

10. Bill Gates

Net worth: $74.1 billion

Up:  $9.3 billion (+ 14%)

Thanks to Scott DeCarlo for building and maintaining our insider database screen and for putting together this year-end scorecard. Please note: members of the Walton family got a one-time boost from a year ago due to a change in control of the shares held by their late mother’s (d. 2007) trust.

Source: Forbes

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