Saturday, March 11, 2006

Show me the Money

Canadian playboy Calvin Ayre went down to Costa Rica a decade ago and began taking illegal bets over the Internet. Now he’s worth $1 billion. His company, Bodog Entertainment Group, took in $7.3 billion US in bets last year.The Forbes article says Ayre got his start in gambling as a hockey-playing youngster, playing blackjack for pennies on the team bus. He now lives in Costa Rica.The Forbes article also quotes a U.S. Justice Department official who says online gambling is illegal.

'Why is the list growing? The answer is an obvious one -- the global economy is growing,' said Forbes editor-in-chief Steve Forbes.

The 2006 roster counted billionaires from 49 countries, with the Czech Republic making its first appearance, and New Zealand and Lebanon both returning after an absence of several years

The World's Top 10 Billionaires
#1 William Gates - $50 Billion
#2 Warren Buffett - $42 Billion
#3 Carlos Slim Helu - $30 Billion
#4 Ingvar Kamprad - $28 Billion
#5 Lakshmi Mittal - $23.5 Billion
#6 Paul Allen - $22 Billion
#7 Bernard Arnault - $21.5 Billion
#8 Prince Alwaleed - $20 Billion
#9 Kenneth Thomson - $19.6 billion
#10 Li Ka-shing - $18.8 billion

How about in India?
The new Indian Billionaires list can be found here

While US names accounted for nearly half the fortunes on the roster, this year's ranking was notable for the influx of newcomers from Brazil, India, Russia and other emerging economies.

-Hind Hariri, the 22-year-old daughter of slain Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, beat out Germany's Prince Albert von Thurn und Taxis by eight months for the title of the world's youngest billionaire.

-Notable disappearances included US lifestyle guru Martha Stewart, who debuted on the list last year despite serving a five-month prison term, and then found that freedom doesn't pay as her net worth declined to 500 mln usd after her release.

-Europe's rising star was Russia, with 33 names including seven new faces.

-In the Asia-Pacific region -- home to 115 billionaires -- the standout was India which added 10 new faces to total 23 on the list with a combined worth of 99 bln usd, 60 pct more than last year.

-The number of women increased by 10 from the previous year to 78 and included US talk show queen Oprah Winfrey who pulled in an extra 100 mln over the year to rank 562nd overall with 1.4 bln


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