The Richest Person in Each State

mental floss

America’s elite live vastly different lives than the rest of us. Those at the top have incomes that are orders of magnitude higher than the average person. Even when we compare their individual wealth with that of households in the states in which they live, there’s no comparison.

So how did they get to where they are? Are they all self-made entrepreneurs, or were they just lucky? Do they hoard all that wealth, or do they give back?

How They Got Rich

According to data from Forbes and Celebrity Net Worth, the wealthiest members of each state did not achieve their fortunes in the same way. They are:

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Heirs/Heiresses
  • Widows

Earning vs. Inheriting Wealth

Of the wealthiest in each state, roughly half are founders of companies. Another major path to wealth is inheritance, with the Waltons being the most striking example.

Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton blessed his family, making several members the wealthiest in their states:

  • Jim Walton in Arkansas
  • Alice Walton in Texas
  • Christy Walton in Wyoming

Academics May Not Be as Important as We Think

From an undergraduate education to the coveted Ph.D., most members of the list have some sort of college degree. But years spent studying on campus isn’t necessarily a prerequisite to striking it rich. Bill Gates, a college dropout, is the wealthiest of them all.

On the other side of the academic spectrum, Delaware’s Robert Gore holds a Ph.D. but ranks second to last in terms of his net worth.

The Wealth Gap

No matter the source of wealth, or home state, there’s no denying the extreme gap between the mega wealthy and the average American.

Our final visual presents an interactive map which helps to illuminate the huge dichotomy between the mega-wealthy and the average wealth of regions around the country.

RELATED-->>Get a copy of Living Rich by Mark Ford HERE!

List Of The Wealthiest Person By State

Alabama: Marguerite Harbert – $1 Billion

Alaska: Robert Gillam – $700 Million

Arizona: Bruce Halle – $4.8 Billion

Arkansas: Jim Walton – $35.7 Billion

California: Larry Ellison – $49.4 Billion

Colorado: Charles Ergen – $15 Billion

Connecticut: Ray Dalio – $14.4 Billion

Delaware: Robert Gore – $830 Million

Florida: Charles Johnson – $8.1 Billion

Georgia: Anne Cox Chambers – $16.1 Billion

Hawaii: Pierre Omidyar – $7.9 Billion

Idaho: Frank VanderSloot – $1.2 Billion

Illinois: Ken Griffin – $5.5 Billion

Indiana: Gayle Cook – $6 Billion

Iowa: Harry Stine – $3.1 Billion

Kansas: Charles Koch – $41.4 Billion

Kentucky: Bradley Hughes – $2.3 Billion

Louisiana: Tom Benson – $1.5 Billion

Maine: Leon Gorman – $860 Million

Maryland: Ted Lerner – $4.6 Billion

Massachusetts: Abigail Johnson – $18.2 Billion

Michigan: Hank & Doug Meijer – $7.9 Billion

Minnesota: Whitney MacMillan – $5.3 Billion

Mississippi: Leslie Lampton – $2.4 Billion

Missouri: Jack Taylor – $13.5 Billion

Montana: Dennis Washington – $6.1 Billion

Nebraska: Warren Buffett – $63.1 Billion

Nevada: Sheldon Adelson – $35.7 Billion

New Hampshire: Rick Cohen – $11.2 Billion

New Jersey: David Tepper – $10 Billion

New Mexico: Maloof Brothers – $1 Billion

New York: David Koch – $41.4 Billion

North Carolina: James Goodnight – $8.1 Billion

North Dakota: Gary Theraldson – $900 Million

Ohio: Leslie Wexner – $5.7 Billion

Oklahoma: Harold Hamm – $19.7 Billion

Oregon: Phil Knight – $19 Billion

Pennsylvania: Mary Alice Dorace Malone – $3 Billion

Rhode Island: Jonathan Nelson – $1.8 Billion

South Carolina: Anita Zucker – $2.7 Billion

South Dakota: T. Denny Sanford – $1.3 Billion

Tennessee: Thomas Frist – $6.9 Billion

Texas: Alice Walton – $35.3 Billion

Utah: Jon Huntsman, Sr. – $1.2 Billion

Vermont: John Abele – $3.3 Billion

Virginia: Jacqueline Mars – $20 Billion

Washington: Bill Gates – $80 Billion

West Virginia: Jim Justice – $1.6 Billion

Wisconsin: John Menard – $7.7 Billion

Wyoming: Christy Walton – $36.7 Billion