How much is One Million Dollars?

Let’s start from the beginning. What can you buy with…


A modest quantity, to start with. You could put it to different uses.

  • You could buy a nice car.
  • You could organize a concert for your neighborhood.
  • You could equip 5 soldiers with M16 assault rifles, or buy a light transport vehicle.
  • You could start a small family business.


Getting better. That would be 10 cars, 10 concerts, 50 soldiers of 10 little shops. Or you could go for some of these:


Your first million dollars! With it, you could own 50 cars, run 50 concerts, buy 250 rifles, operate a network of 50 stores, spend the year in 5 different houses, have 5 military vehicles or own 5 startups. But you could also…

  • Buy a luxury house, or a yacht.
  • Build a big park.
  • Buy an AMRAAM missile for medium range. Although I heard that Tomahawks, priced a bit higher, are free unless they strike the target.
  • Setup a manufacturing line.

$10,000,000 (ten million dollars)

At this point, people no longer see any difference. $10m and $100m sounds pretty much like the same thing, but they’re not.

$10m would get you 500 cars, 500 concerts, 2.500 rifles, 500 shops, 50 houses, 50 sports courts, 50 armored vehicles, 50 startups, 10 luxury houses, 10 city parks, 10 air-to-air missiles, 10 factories, or…

$100,000,000 (one hundred million dollars)

If you get here, you can buy 5,000 cars, run 5,000 for your friends and family, equip 25,000 soldiers, own 5,000 stores, 500 apartments, 500 sport courts, 500 military jeeps, 500 startups (do you even have that many ideas?), 100 luxury houses, city parks for 100 cities, 100 missiles, 100 factories, 10 private jets, 10 hospitals, 10 fighter aircrafts or:

  • A big hotel by the beach, or a movie about your life. If you get $100m, you probably have a good story for it.
  • A highway.
  • A military transport aircraft like the Airbus A-400M.
  • An airline.

$1,000,000,000 (one billion dollars)

If you ever reach this sum, give me a call before getting either 50,000 cars, 50,000 concerts, 250,000 assault rifles, 50,000 shops, 5,000 apartments, 5,000 armored vehicles, 5,000 startups, 1,000 luxury houses, 1,000 air-to-air missiles, 1,000 factories, 100 private jets, 100 hospitals, 100 fighters, 10 hotels, 10 A-400M airplanes or 10 airlines.

You’ll need to choose between an awesome army, an industrial cluster, or a healthcare network. And you better find a good accountant. Other choices include:

  • Building your own city, like Banco Santander kinda did in Boadilla del Monte.
  • Build a high-speed train, maybe in California.
  • Get your own airplane carrier. Spain only has one, you could have another one.
  • Buy a well known cookie company.

$10,000,000,000 (ten billion dollars)

This is already pretty epic. You’d be at the level of some of the richest people on Earth. Enough cars for a small country (500,000), assault riffles for it too (2,500,000), enough stores for a whole country, 50,000 apartments, 50,000 military vehicles, 50,000 startups, luxury houses for everybody you’ve ever met, 10,000 missiles, 10,000 factories, 1,000 private jets, 1,000 hospitals, 1,000 fighters, a hotel on the beach for each of your relatives (100), 100 highways, 100 A-400M, 100 airlines, 10 cities, 10 high-speed train lines, 10 aircraft carriers, 10 public companies.

You’re finally as big as some countries! What next?

  • Buy a first class art collection
  • Build a tunnel connecting France and UK.
  • Launch your own satellite network.
  • Acquire an energy company.

Above $100b, you’d find companies like Apple and Microsoft. With this much money, wars could be financed, you could populate islands and start a space mission without problems.

What would you do with $1 million dollars?

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