These Are The 10 Wealthiest People In Each State For 2018

By Heidi Cope
Oct. 22, 2018

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Have you ever wondered how the wealthiest people in America got so rich? Earlier in 2018, Forbes came out with an article on the richest people in every state and Zippia is here to explain the when and how for these American billionaires.

So if you may be America’s next most successful entrepreneur, don’t think that products such as shoes, online shopping platforms, or even pet food aren’t as successful as developing the newest iPhone.

You may just be surprised. Take a look at our top 10 list:

  1. Jeff Bezos, Washingon State, Amazon. | $132 bil
  2. Warren Buffett, Nebraska, Berkshire Hathaway. | $85 bil
  3. Mark Zuckerberg, California, Facebook. | $74 bil
  4. David Koch, New York, Koch Industries. | $51.5 bil
  5. Charles Koch, Kansas, Koch Industries. | $51.5 bil
  6. Sheldon Adelson, Nevada, Casinos. | $42.8 bil
  7. Jim Walton, Arkansas, Walmart. | $40.3 bil
  8. Alice Walton, Texas, Walmart. | $40 bil
  9. Phil Knight, Oregon, Nike. | $30.7 bil
  10. Thomas Peterffy, Florida, Brokerage. | $25.7 bil

No surprise that Amazon, Facebook, and Walmart make this top 10 list.

If we want to buy something fast, we order from Amazon and if we want to buy cheap, we go to Walmart. Need to organize an event, publicize anything, or catch up with friends? We all naturally go to Facebook.

But these other billionaires– do we use their products or services and not know it? Everyone knows Nike, but who knew a clothing and shoe line could have boosted the Knight family into the billionaire status?

What about Koch Industries, Berkshire Hathaway, and the lesser-known Adelson and Peterffy? Read on to learn more about all these billionaires.

If you want to, find out how long it would take you to earn $1,000,0000,000.

Determining The Wealthiest Person In Each State

Our expertise is helping people get a job — not figuring out the net worth of celebrities.

So we left the net worth collecting to the experts at Forbes who published their “Meet the Richest Person in Every State in 2018.”

The data for their article was collected from a constant tracking system Forbes created to estimate billionaire worth, nationally and internationally.

We then dove deeper into the when and how of these billionaire’s histories to give you a top 10 detailed look at how these billionaires became so wealthy.

1. Jeff Bezos, Washingon State, Amazon.

When you think of the richest person in America, you may immediately think of the Gates family, but actually, it is Jeff Bezos, the creator of Amazon. He is not only the wealthiest person in the United States but also the wealthiest person in the world, as of May 2018.

The Gates family and Jeff Bezos both live in Washington state, which is why the Gates family doesn’t show up on our top 10 list.

Amazon, which is an American online shopping life-line, is also home to services like Prime Video, Kindle, and Audible. Amazon also recently acquired Whole Foods and expanded their Prime Now grocery delivery services.

2. Warren Buffett, Nebraska, Berkshire Hathaway.

Next up on our top ten comes Warren Buffett from Nebraska. You may be thinking, Nebraska? How can the next on our list come from a flyover state? Two words: Berkshire Hathaway.

What exactly is Berkshire Hathaway? Many readers are probably asking the same question. It is an “American multinational conglomerate holding company.” Aka Berkshire Hathaway is a powerhouse that owns a lot or a little bit of a lot of companies.

Companies like GEICO, Fruit of the Loom, Dairy Queen, Pampered Chef are owned by Berkshire Hathaway. They also have a good percentage of shares of companies like Heinz, Apple, American Express, and Wells Fargo.

So if you are a stock-market guru, perhaps taking a look at Warren Buffett’s success would make a good “how to be a billionaire via stocks” textbook.

3. Mark Zuckerberg, California, Facebook.

Naturally, Mark Zuckerberg is going to appear on our lists as the wealthiest person in California. While MySpace was the OG social media outlet, Facebook took social media to a whole new level in the early 2000s.

These days, younger social media users don’t use Facebook at all, but rather Instagram. But is Mark Zuckerberg concerned? Definitely not, as Facebook bought out Instagram as well.

If you are from the U.S., you may not know what Whatsapp is; however, it is one of the top communications applications internationally, and guess who owns it as well? That’s right, Facebook.

Who knew dropping out of Harvard could lead to such success?

4 amp; 5. David Koch, New York, Koch Industries. amp; Charles Koch, Kansas, Koch Industries.

Tied for the fourth and fifth place are actually brothers. David and Charles Koch of Koch Industries each are worth 51.5 billion dollars. And for what?

Koch Industries is the second largest privately-owned company in the U.S. and like Berkshire Hathaway, they own a bit of a lot of things. Koch Industries, however, have a specialty, which is chemical, oil, and agriculture manufacturing.

Koch Industries is most famous for Fred Koch’s, David and Charles’s father, invention of a better oil refining process.

Interestingly, the Koch brothers are very politically involved and use their wealth to help support political platforms/causes. So if you are a congressman/woman looking for some investments for a particular cause, the Koch brothers may be able to help you out.

6. Sheldon Adelson, Nevada, Casinos.

Who is Sheldon Adelson? This American isn’t a well-known public figure like Zuckerberg but has still been able to accumulate over $42 billion in assets.

Considering he is from Nevada, it may not be a surprise that Adelson’s wealth has come from casinos. If we began thinking about casinos and politics, President Trump may come to mind.

Adelson’s wealth has been used to promote Trump in his election to the presidency in 2016. Trump, another one of America’s richest, probably was able to fund much of his campaign, but Adelson’s $25 million donation sure helped.

7. Jim Walton, Arkansas, Walmart.

Jim Walton is the son of Sam Walton, one of Walmart’s founders. Walmart is the world’s largest retailer and Jim Walton is currently on Walmart’s Board of Directors.

Jim Walton also owns Community Publishers, Inc, a newspaper firm in several states.

If you have a diverse set of interests, say, banking, media, and retail, why not invest in all? Jim Walton did and look where he ended up.

8. Alice Walton, Texas, Walmart.

Alice Walton comes in at number 8 on our list. Alice Walton is the sister of Jim Walton and has also inherited a lot of Walmart’s wealth. Alice and Jim also have major investments in Arvest Bank Group, a large asset outside of Walmart.

Although her assets are worth slightly less than her brother’s, Alice is tied to Françoise Bettencourt Meyers for the wealthiest woman in the world.

9. Phil Knight, Oregon, Nike.

Looking for new running shoes and seeing the infamous Nike check mark all over the shoe store? Looks like Nike’s founder, Phil Knight, knew what athletes were looking for in shoes and clothing.

The Oregon-native originally started Blue Ribbon Sports with co-founder Bill Bowerman, a track coach at the University of Oregon.

Nike is one of the most famous brands in the world and everyone can recognize their check, or swoosh, logo. Interestingly, this symbol is supposedly designed after a Greek goddess of victory, Nike.

10. Thomas Peterffy, Florida, Brokerage.

Last but not least, comes Thomas Peterffy from Florida. Unlike the other people on our top 10 list, Peterffy has a somewhat different, but still extremely successful path to wealth through brokerage.

This Hungarian-American was hungry for success and is the largest shareholder of Interactive Brokers, a brokerage company based in Connecticut.

Peterffy was an immigrant to the U.S. in 1965, learned English, and then worked in engineering and highway architecture before learning about computers and brokerage.

Wrapping Up The Richest People In America

The journey to success in America is never the same. Some people inherit their wealth, while others create their own through shoes or by creating websites for fun.

While some success is due to highly-technical jobs, sometimes success starts with one unique idea and entrepreneurial dedication.

Detailed List Of Wealthiest Person In Each State For 2018

State Person Wealth
Washington Jeff Bezos $132.0 bil
Nebraska Warren Buffett $85.0 bil
California Mark Zuckerberg $74.0 bil
Kansas Charles Koch $51.5 bil
New York David Koch $51.5 bil
Nevada Sheldon Adelson $42.8 bil
Arkansas Jim Walton $40.3 bil
Texas Alice Walton $40.0 bil
Oregon Phil Knight $30.7 bil
Florida Thomas Peterffy $25.7 bil
South Dakota T. Denny Sanford $25.0 bil
Virginia Jacqueline Mars $23.8 bil
Wyoming John Mars $23.8 bil
Oklahoma Harold Hamm $19.5 bil
Connecticut Ray Dalio $17.4 bil
Massachusetts Abigail Johnson $16.9 bil
Colorado Philip Anschutz $12.7 bil
Hawaii Pierre Omidyar $10.6 bil
Wisconsin John Menard Jr $10.5 bil
North Carolina James Goodnight $9.9 bil
Tennessee Thomas Frist Jr $9.7 bil
Illinois Ken Griffin $9.0 bil
Georgia Jim Kennedy $9.0 bil
Indiana Carl Cook $8.2 bil
Missouri Pauline MacMillan Keinath $7.2 bil
Michigan Daniel Gilbert $6.3 bil
Pennsylvania Victoria Mars $6.0 bil
Montana Dennis Washington $5.9 bil
New Jersey John Overdeck $5.5 bil
Ohio Les Wexner $5.4 bil
Maryland Ted Lerner $5.1 bil
Idaho Frank VanderSloot $3.4 bil
Iowa Harry Stine $3.2 bil
Arizona Mark Shoen $3.0 bil
Minnesota Glen Taylor $2.8 bil
Louisiana Gayle Benson $2.7 bil
Kentucky B. Wayne Hughes, $2.7 bil
South Carolina Anita Zucker $2.5 bil
West Virginia Jim Justice II $1.9 bil
Rhode Island Jonathan Nelson $1.8 bil
Maine Susan Alfond $1.6 bil
Utah Gail Miller $1.4 bil
Mississippi James and Thomas Duff $1.2 bil
New Hampshire Andrea Reimann-Ciardelli $1.1 bil
Alabama Jimmy Rane $0.95 bil
North Dakota Gary Tharaldson $0.9 bil
Delaware Elizabeth Snyder $0.75 bil
New Mexico Mack C. Chase $0.7 bil
Vermont John Abele $0.63 bil
Alaska Leonard Hyde $0.31 bil

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Heidi Cope

Heidi Cope is a former writer for the Zippia Career Advice blog. Her writing focused primarily on Zippia's suite of rankings and general career advice. After leaving Zippia, Heidi joined The Mighty as a writer and editor, among other positions. She received her BS from UNC Charlotte in German Studies.

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