Spanish retail tycoon Amancio Ortega briefly surpassed Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates by mere millions of dollars to become the world’s richest person on Tuesday afternoon. But as of 1:45 p.m. Eastern, Gates was back in the No. 1 spot.
At 2 p.m. Eastern, Gates was worth $84.722 billion vs. $84.72 billion for Ortega.
Gates has held the spot as the world’s richest person for 18 of the past 23 years on Forbes’ annual Billionaires List, published each spring. In between lists, however, Gates has been passed up 3 times in the past two years: twice by Ortega and once by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Today Ortega very briefly took the top spot from Gates for the third time.
Ortega, who founded clothing chain Zara’s parent company Inditex , first surpassed Gates in October 2015 for less than a day. At the time, he had a net worth of $80 billion. Then, nearly a year later, he took the top spot for two days in September 2016. On Tuesday, Ortega’s net worth increased nearly $500 million to $84.7 billion putting him slightly ahead of Gates briefly.
In July, Bezos was the world’s richest person for a single morning as his net worth surged above $90 billion. A disappointing quarterly earnings report later that same day caused Amazon’s stock to fall and he hasn’t regained the top spot since. He’s currently the third richest person with a $81.4 billion fortune.
European stock markets are closed for the day so we’ll be watching Microsoft stock and Gates’ net worth to see which billionaire ends the day as the world’s richest person.
More Info: www.forbes.com