Back in the day $1 million seemed like an unimaginable amount of money but if you think about it, a million doesn’t exactly go that far anymore. Yes, it will buy you a comfortable home but it won’t give that “Va Va Voom” jaw-dropping feeling, knowing all your dreams are fulfilled.
Although being a millionaire sounds nice, it’s not that impressive any more thanks to inflation. Think about it, if you retired today at 65 with $1 million, you would only be able to spend say $40,000 to $50,000 a year for 25 years until you’d likely run out of money. Hopefully, you wouldn't face any exorbitant medical expenses either.
We also just have to look at the most popular international lotto games to see jackpots constantly soaring into triple-digit millions. Seeing these incredible jackpots does also make us skip the small jackpots in the hope of becoming instant multi-millionaires instead.
In today’s world, we often come across the words millions, billions and trillions. Whether we read about these words in newspapers regarding various businesses or governments everything seems to cost so much more.
Looking back, the word ‘million,’ we see that it has been around since the late fourteenth century and the word ‘billion’ was introduced in the French language in the fifteenth century. The word ‘billion’ only found its way into the English language at the end of the seventeenth century. Which is fairly late in the history of counting.
The earliest evidence of counting came about when archaeologist’s found two animal bones which show clear group marks. The first one is a 35,000-year-old baboon’s thigh bone from the Lebembo Mountains of Africa and the other is a 33,000-year-old wolf bone from Czechoslovakia.
The wolf bone found at an ancient human campsite intrigued archaeologists due to the fact that it was notched with fifty-five marks, grouped in eleven sets of five marks each.
In ancient Greek, the largest number with a single-word name was 10,000. The name given to this rather large number was murios. It was later transformed into Late Latin as myrias. From myrias we get the English word myriad meaning “an extremely large number or amount”.
One million is expressed in Latin as decies centena milia or 10 × 100 × 1,000.
What it meant to have a million in the past
- In 1826, the term ‘millionaire’ was first used in a novel, Vivian Grey by Benjamin Disraeli.
- The Palmer Mansion in Illinois that was completed in 1885 cost around $1 million to build.
- The Eiffel Tower was built from 1887 to 1889 and cost $1.5 million.
- Buying a house in 1940 would have cost you approximately $2 938. The same house in 1980 it would have cost you $47 000 and by 2000 the average home was selling for $119 600. In 2020 it will now cost you $1 million.
- Having $1 million in 1950 could buy you an average house for approximately $7 354 and a Volkswagen Beetle fresh off the floor for $1 280.
A million in perspective
- If you stack one million $1 bills it would weigh exactly one ton and would reach the height of roughly 360 feet.
- If you had $1 million and spent $1000 every day you would run out of money in three years. However, if you had $1 billion and you spent $1000 each day, it would take you 2740 years before you ran out of money.
The World’s Richest
- On average, the world’s richest people made their first million by the age of 36.
- 65% of the worlds richest are self-made millionaires.
- One of the world’s wealthiest men, Jeff Bezos, is worth roughly $163 billion. For him, spending $1.7 million is equivalent to the average American spending just $1!
What Exactly Is a Billion?
For those of us who were taught arithmetic before the 1970s, the answer to this question may well have been different depending on how much you furthered your education. Most classes never delved this far as the concept of having to deal with such large amounts money-wise was not even considered – at least in every day maths classes that is.
Another factor to consider is that learning about a billion would differ slightly depending on where in the world you were.
While it is accepted that one billion equals 109, when reading older texts in the United Kingdom billion hasn’t always meant 109. In the 1970s, when the United Kingdom officially adopted the American definition of billion, this word represented 1012 in British English.
The reason for this was due to the fact that the difference resulted from the emergence of two competing systems for naming large numbers:
Long scale system
Nicolas Chuquet, a fifteenth-century mathematician, established a system by combining Latin numerical prefixes (bi-, tri-, etc.) with the suffix -illion to form powers of one million.
In this system, a billion equals one million times one million (or one million squared, 1012) and a trillion equals one million cubed (1018).
This is known as the long scale and was used in the United Kingdom. In 1974 they followed the United States and adopted the short scale system.
Short scale system
The short scale uses the same names (billion, trillion, quadrillion, etc.) but assigns different values to them, with one billion equalling a thousand million, one trillion equalling a thousand billion, and so forth, the logic being that the prefix attached to -illion represents n in the formula 103(n+1). For example, quadrillion, with the prefix quadri- meaning “four” is equal to 103(4+1) or more simply 1015.
It’s the short scale system that is used today throughout the English-speaking world.
The French language still uses the long scale, so that an English billion is translated in French as un milliard and a French billion (also called mille milliards or “one thousand milliards” in English) is translated in English as a trillion.
The easy way to understand
One way to grasp all this is to group the zeros. For example, number 10 has one zero, 100 has two zeros and so forth. We used these numbers every day, whether it’s dealing with money or counting something.
However, when we get to a million, billion or trillion, things get a little more tricky.
For those of you that think its super easy, “how many zero’s come after the one in a Novemdecellion?
As you can see it’s hard to keep track.
To make it easier, break down the zero’s in groups of three. It’s much easier to remember that a trillion is written with four sets of three zeros than counting out 12 separate zeros.
|Name||Number of zeros||Group of 3|
|Ten thousand||4||1 (10,000|
|Hundred thousand||5||1 (100,000)|
Abbreviating million and billion
When writing an abbreviation for a million or billion, people often wonder if there is a correct or best way.
The most commonly seen short forms for thousand, million, billion and trillion in North America and the United Kingdom, respectively, are outlined in the table below.
|Number||North America||United Kingdom||Rarer Forms|
|thousand||K||k or K||thsnd(.)|
|million||M||m||mil(.), mill(.), mln(.), MM|
|billion||B||bn||bil(.), bill(.), bln(.)|
|trillion||T||tn||tril(.), trill(.), trn(.), tln(.)|
Becoming a Billionaire
There are a variety of ways to become a multi-millionaire or even a billionaire. However, none can compare to playing a game of chance with minimal effort and becoming insanely wealthy overnight.
When the PlayUSALotteries.com was first launched back in 1998, the idea that lottery jackpots could reach a billion wasn’t thought possible. After all, winning millions was an absolute dream come true.
However, like all things in life, things change and more and more becomes possible.
With jackpots that soar into billions, like the US Powerball and the Mega Millions, you would be crazy not to take that chance.
The first international lottery game that did the unthinkable and reached the billion-dollar mark was the US Powerball lottery.
I can remember sitting in the office watching the screens with the whole office having gone quiet mesmerised that we were witnessing lottery history being made.
3 winners from California, Tennessee, and Florida - $1.586 billion
It wasn’t just PlayUSALotteries.com that were glued to their screens, however, as lottery players all over the world could not believe their eyes when they saw the US Powerball jackpot roll over to the billion-dollar mark.
Lotto jackpot fever broke out not only in America but all over the world thanks to online lottery websites such as PlayUSALotteries.com, enabling lottery enthusiasts to also buy Powerball tickets online.
Three Powerball ticket holders eventually won the biggest Powerball jackpot and shared the $1.586 billion. They came from California, Tennessee and Florida. Each ticket holder won 528.8 million.
Mega Millions also had its turn to show the world that when it comes to big lotto jackpots, American lotteries are the best.
On the 23rd October 2018 the Mega Millions gave the US Powerball a run for its money when it broke its own record and nearly that of the world when it rolled over to $1.537 billion.
It was won by a single ticket!
Mega Millions estimated that the $1.6 billion would have been a world record for lotteries, but the actual Mega Millions ticket sales came in just below the $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot prize shared by winners in California, Florida and Tennessee in January of 2016.
We’ve all dreamt of winning the lottery, and looking at the American lottery winners whose dreams have come true, it just confirms that anyone can win.
Remember, making sure you have a chance at winning is what’s important.
To enter the lottery and increase your chances, all you need to do is enter the Mega Millions lottery online right here at PlayUSALotteries.com today for your chance to become an instant millionaire or billionaire depending on where in the world you are!
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