Jeff Bezos, the founder of global online department store Amazon is the richest person ever on the planet.
His wealth exceeds that of any other living person and the annual gross national product of many smaller nations.
For a flicker, his wealth reached $151 billion on Amazon Prime Day (July 16) but dropped back to $150 billion when the Amazon servers crashed as millions of shoppers flooded the network with orders or tried to view sale items.
Technology experts suggest the company had not reserved enough server capacity for the surge of interest trigged by the event.
Amazon Prime Day is one of the site’s biggest special events, when members of the service are offered a series of special deals.
Bill gates is second richest
Bezos has seen his wealth grow alongside the fortunes of Amazon.
As shares in the company have increased in value since the start of the year, he has seen his personal wealth grow by $45 billion.
The second richest person is Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who has a fortune just shy of $100 billion, which would be more except Gates is a renowned philanthropist who has divested himself of billions through his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
While Gates has hovered around the top of the world rich list for decades, Bezos is a relative newcomer, appearing on the list for the first time in 1998 with a personal wealth of $1.8 billion. Since then, the value of his stock in Amazon has soared.
Bezos funds space exploration
Bezos holds a huge number of shares in the company as the founder, although he has sold stock worth billions to finance his rocket and space exploration venture Blue Origin rather than gift money to charity.
However, he did controversially give $33 million to a charity for funding education for immigrant high school students who President Donald Trump wants to repatriate even though they either came to the US with illegal immigrant parents or were born to illegal immigrants in the States.
Bezos has announced he wants to give more to charity and has asked his Twitter followers to suggest worthy destinations to receive some cash, but has not yet given.