Tampa Bay Times

HOW TO SPEND $7B

- BY JEFF HARRINGTON Times Staff Writer

Jeff Bezos’ net worth surged overnight, thanks to Amazon.

Jeff Bezos is once more the richest man in the world, adding some $7 billion to his net wealth overnight thanks to a surge in Amazon stock.

Amazon posted third-quarter earnings on Thursday that far surpassed Wall Street expectatio­ns, helped by the acquisitio­n of organic grocer Whole Foods and an increase in sales during its summer “Prime Day” promotions. The company also said it expects sales to rise during the busy holiday-shopping season.

As a result, Bezos’ net worth jumped to $90 billion overnight, according to data from the Bloomberg Billionair­es Index. Amazon’s share price continued rising on Friday, closing the week at $1,100.95 a share, up 13 percent. That meant his net worth had climbed even higher — to $93 billion.

Bezos had already surpassed fellow billionair­e and Microsoft founder Bill Gates by $500 million as of early Friday; by day’s end, he was $3 billion ahead. It was the second time that Bezos topped Gates, but the first time only lasted a day in July.

The overnight gain of $7 billion would have been enough for Bezos to buy the Washington Post nearly 30 times over. He paid $250 million for the newspaper — with his own money, not Amazon’s — in 2013.

But if he wanted to cash out that gain to go toward Tampa Bay causes or entities, here are a few suggestion­s.

It was enough of an overnight profit for Bezos:

personally fund the massive $3 billion Water Street Tampa project in downtown Tampa plus Tampa Internatio­nal Airport’s $2 billion makeover with enough chump change left to pay for a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays (estimated at up to $650 million).

cover USF’s entire annual operating budget nearly four times over ($1.79 billion).

 ?? New York Times ?? Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest person.
New York Times Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest person.
 ?? Associated Press ?? Microsoft’s Bill Gates has slipped $3 billion behind.
Associated Press Microsoft’s Bill Gates has slipped $3 billion behind.

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