Pity the poor millionaire, no matter how many times over. Nine digits is just not enough to get on the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in the U.S., published Friday. For the first time, everyone on the list this year is a billionaire.
Among the biggest of the fat cats, self-made tech giants continue to dominate the Top 10, unless you count the layabouts who inherited Bill Walton's fortune. (Four Wal-Mart heirs are on the list.)
Bill Gates is tops with a net worth of $53 billion, keeping his partner in philanthropy, Warren Buffet, in the second chair, with $46 billion. Other fortunes amassed by technology entrepreneurs include the $19.5 billion held by Oracle's Larry J. Ellison (No. 4), Paul Allen, with $16 billion (No. 5), and Michael Dell, with $15.5 billion (tied for No. 9).
Giving hope (or a good argument against Mom and Dad) to drop-outs and dreamers everywhere, most of the 10 richest Americans are drop-outs, including Gates, Allen, Dell, Ellison and Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.
Adelson makes the grade as the most impressive rise. It took him 11 years to make his first billion, and he has seen his net worth jump by an average of $1 million an hour since he took his company, which owns the Sands casino, public two years ago.