It’s not every day that you hear about someone making over a billion dollars in one day. Even the world’s largest lottery prize isn’t close to one billion dollars. But when you own a bunch of technology and engineering companies, and if you are heavily invested in the stock market, it seems that earning a billion US dollars in one day isn’t really impossible. That is what happened to Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk last month.
According to a leading business publication, Elon Musk earned a whopping $1.1 billion on paper in just one day as the shares for electric car maker Tesla Motors jumped up by nearly 14% on February 25th. With that much ‘dough’ being made overnight, Mr. Elon Musk – an engineer and entrepreneur who builds and operates companies to solve environmental, social and economic challenges – has brought his total net worth up to $11.7 billion, which is up by almost 48% since the start of this year.
Musk’s wealth has accumulated largely due to the increase in Tesla stock and he is the largest shareholder, owning 23% of the company. Musk is also the co-founder of PayPal and he currently drives strategy, development and design at the two companies which he created, Space Exploration Technologies, also known as SpaceX and of course Tesla. On top of that he also oversees a third company, SolarCity, which he also co-founded. Musk led SpaceX’s efforts to be the first private company to successfully launch and dock a spacecraft with the international space station. The only two other people to make more money than Musk so far this year were Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg and Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma, who made $6.5 billion and $7.8 billion respectively.
Musk’s achievements in business and technology have been widely recognized. Time Magazine included him on its 2010 TIME 100 list of 100 people who most affected the world. Esquire Magazine named him one its 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century, and Forbes Magazine named him one of America’s 20 Most Powerful CEOs 40 and Under. Based on his work at SpaceX, Tesla Motors and Solar City, Research and Development Magazine named Musk its Innovator of the Year and Inc. Magazine named him its Entrepreneur of the Year.