These 47 Billionaires Got Richer During the Pandemic

Gabrielle Olya
·15 min read
lev radin / Shutterstock.com
lev radin / Shutterstock.com

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the financial well-being of millions of people around the world, with many losing jobs, shuttering their businesses or losing a large portion of their retirement savings due to market volatility. Yet somehow, the world’s richest seem to be coming out of the crisis unscathed — and in many cases, even richer.

Related: Coronavirus Has Made These Brands More Valuable Than Ever

GOBankingRates compared the net worths of the world’s 50 richest billionaires on March 18 to their net worths on Oct. 7 to determine the total money they lost or gained during the coronavirus pandemic, which narrowed down the list to 47 billionaires who had seen a rise in wealth. GOBankingRates also looked at the amount each one-percenter had given to coronavirus charities between March and August (the most recent date available).

Take a look at these billionaires, ranked in order of who has gained the least to most during the health crisis.

Last updated: Jan. 7, 2021

©Georgi Licovski/EPA/REX/Shutterstock
©Georgi Licovski/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

47. Carlos Slim Helu & Family

  • Beginning net worth: $52.1 billion

  • Ending net worth: $52.8 billion

  • Amount gained: $700 million

Mexican telecom billionaire Carlos Slim Helu has gained 1.34% of his wealth since mid-March.

See Also: 21 Billionaires Who Lost Big in 2020

Mark Lennihan/AP / Shutterstock.com
Mark Lennihan/AP / Shutterstock.com

46. Jim Simons

  • Beginning net worth: $21.6 billion

  • Ending net worth: $23.5 billion

  • Amount gained: $1.9 billion

Renaissance Technologies’ Jim Simons is one of the many billionaires who has gained wealth during the pandemic.

Check Out: 20 Hobbies of the Rich Only They Can Afford

Dmytro_Karpenko / Shutterstock.com
Dmytro_Karpenko / Shutterstock.com

45. Giovanni Ferrero

  • Beginning net worth: $24.5 billion

  • Ending net worth: $26.7 billion

  • Amount gained: $2.2 billion

Giovanni Ferrero — who has candy to thank for his billions as the maker of Nutella, Ferrero Rocher and Tic Tacs — has seen his net worth increase amid the pandemic. As of August, he had donated 0.04% of his total net worth to coronavirus causes — which might not sound like much, but it amounts to $10.7 million.

Helping Out: CEOs Taking Pay Cuts To Help Their Companies Survive the Coronavirus

Lionel Cironneau/AP / Shutterstock.com
Lionel Cironneau/AP / Shutterstock.com

44. Joseph Safra

  • Beginning net worth: $19.9 billion

  • Ending net worth: $22.6 billion

  • Amount gained: $2.7 billion

Brazilian banking billionaire Joseph Safra’s net worth has jumped up significantly since March.

Peter Macdiarmid / Shutterstock.com
Peter Macdiarmid / Shutterstock.com

43. Vladimir Potanin

  • Beginning net worth: $19.7 billion

  • Ending net worth: $22.4 billion

  • Amount gained: $2.7 billion

Metals have made Vladimir Potanin rich and the pandemic has apparently made the Russian billionaire even richer. He’s donated 0.64% of his total net worth — a whopping $155.1 million — to coronavirus charities between March and August. He has given the largest share of his wealth to the cause of any billionaire.

Kommersant Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com
Kommersant Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

42. Leonid Mikhelson

  • Beginning net worth: $17.1 billion

  • Ending net worth: $21.1 billion

  • Amount gained: $4 billion

Russia’s Leonid Mikhelson has seen his net worth rise over the course of the pandemic. His main source of wealth is the energy company Novatek.

ChristiLaLiberte / Getty Images
ChristiLaLiberte / Getty Images

41. Qin Yinglin & Family

  • Beginning net worth: $18.5 billion

  • Ending net worth: $22.7 billion

  • Amount gained: $4.2 billion

China’s largest pig breeder, Qin Yinglin, has seen his net worth increase by an insane 22.7% from March to October.

Ekaterina79 / Getty Images
Ekaterina79 / Getty Images

40. John Mars

  • Beginning net worth: $24.7 billion

  • Ending net worth: $28.9 billion

  • Amount gained: $4.2 billion

Perhaps people have been eating more candy in quarantine. That could explain why John Mars, heir to the Mars Inc. candy company, has seen his net worth grow in recent months. He also donated $10 million — less than 0.03% of his total net worth — to the coronavirus causes between March and August.

RON SACHS/POOL/EPA-EFE / Shutterstock.com
RON SACHS/POOL/EPA-EFE / Shutterstock.com

39. Jacqueline Mars

  • Beginning net worth: $24.7 billion

  • Ending net worth: $28.9 billion

  • Amount gained: $4.2 billion

Siblings Jacqueline and John Mars each own roughly a third of Mars Inc., Forbes reported, so their change in wealth has been the same. She has also donated $10 million to the coronavirus causes.

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JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE / Shutterstock.com
JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE / Shutterstock.com

38. Sheldon Adelson

  • Beginning net worth: $26.8 billion

  • Ending net worth: $31.1 billion

  • Amount gained: $4.3 billion

Even though Las Vegas shut down its casinos amid the coronavirus pandemic, Sheldon Adelson still managed to increase his net worth. Adelson owns more than half of the Las Vegas Sands gambling empire, which has casinos in Singapore and Macao, China, in addition to Sin City. He donated $2 million to coronavirus charities during the height of the pandemic.

Maxim Shipenkov/EPA-EFE / Shutterstock.com
Maxim Shipenkov/EPA-EFE / Shutterstock.com

37. Vladimir Lisin

  • Beginning net worth: $18.1 billion

  • Ending net worth: $22.8 billion

  • Amount gained: $4.7 billion

Vladimir Lisin, the chairman of NLMK Group, a leading manufacturer of steel products, had a huge increase in his net worth from March to August.

Clint Spaulding/WWD / Shutterstock.com
Clint Spaulding/WWD / Shutterstock.com

36. Julia Koch & Family

  • Beginning net worth: $38.2 billion

  • Ending net worth: $44.9 billion

  • Amount gained: $6.7 billion

Julia Koch, who inherited a 42% stake in Koch Industries when her husband, David, died in August 2019, has become richer during the pandemic. Koch also donated $4 million to coronavirus charities — though it is less than 0.01% of her total net worth.

Gavin Peters / Wikimedia Commons
Gavin Peters / Wikimedia Commons

35. Charles Koch

  • Beginning net worth: $38.2 billion

  • Ending net worth: $44.9 billion

  • Amount gained: $6.7 billion

Charles Koch also owns 42% of Koch Industries, so he’s gained the same amount of wealth as Julia. But he’s donated more to coronavirus charities: $50 million, or roughly 0.11% of his total net worth.

Eric Risberg/AP / Shutterstock.com
Eric Risberg/AP / Shutterstock.com

34. Michael Bloomberg

  • Beginning net worth: $48 billion

  • Ending net worth: $54.9 billion

  • Amount gained: $6.9 billion

Michael Bloomberg has made back all of the $900 million he spent on his failed presidential campaign — and then some. The media entrepreneur and politician’s net worth has grown immensely during the pandemic.

That said, between March and August, Bloomberg donated 0.34% of his total net worth — $190 million — to coronavirus causes.

EdTech Stanford University Schoo / Wikimedia Commons
EdTech Stanford University Schoo / Wikimedia Commons

33. Li Ka-Shing

  • Beginning net worth: $21.7 billion

  • Ending net worth: $28.8 billion

  • Amount gained: $7.1 billion

Businessman Li Ka-Shing, senior advisor at CK Hutchinson Holdings, has seen his net worth grow by 32.72% since mid-March. He donated $13 million to coronavirus causes between March and August.

Alan Davidson / Shutterstock.com
Alan Davidson / Shutterstock.com

32. Gerard Wertheimer

  • Beginning net worth: $17.1 billion

  • Ending net worth: $24.6 billion

  • Amount gained: $7.5 billion

Gerard Wertheimer, co-owner of Chanel, has gained wealth despite a drop in the sales of luxury goods during the pandemic. His net worth has increased by 43.9%.

Read More: Companies Making the Most Money From Coronavirus

David Hartley / Shutterstock.com
David Hartley / Shutterstock.com

31. Alain Wertheimer

  • Beginning net worth: $17.1 billion

  • Ending net worth: $24.6 billion

  • Amount gained: $7.5 billion

Alain Wertheimer is the chairman of Chanel and co-owns the luxury brand along with his brother Gerard. He’s gained $7.5 billion during the pandemic.

Joni Hanebutt / Shutterstock.com
Joni Hanebutt / Shutterstock.com

30. Beate Heister & Karl Albrecht Jr.

  • Beginning net worth: $33.3 billion

  • Ending net worth: $41 billion

  • Amount gained: $7.7 billion

Like e-commerce shopping, spending on groceries has also seen a boost as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Beate Heister and Karl Albrecht Jr., heirs to the Aldi fortune, are clearly benefiting from this boost with a huge increase in their wealth.

Shocking Stats: The World’s 2,000 Billionaires Have More Wealth Than Almost 5 Billion People Combined

Jason Zhang (Hian) / Wikimedia Commons
Jason Zhang (Hian) / Wikimedia Commons

29. David Thomson & Family

  • Beginning net worth: $31.6 billion

  • Ending net worth: $39.5 billion

  • Amount gained: $7.9 billion

Canadian billionaire David Thomson’s net worth has risen significantly amid the pandemic. The source of his wealth is the media company Thomson Reuters.

WR.lili / Shutterstock.com
WR.lili / Shutterstock.com

28. Yang Huiyan & Family

  • Beginning net worth: $20.3 billion

  • Ending net worth: $29 billion

  • Amount gained: $8.7 billion

Yang Huiyan, who owns 57% of real estate development company Country Garden Holdings, according to Forbes, gained 42.9% more wealth from March to October.

Midea Group / Wikimedia Commons
Midea Group / Wikimedia Commons

27. He Xiangjian

  • Beginning net worth: $21.6 billion

  • Ending net worth: $30.5 billion

  • Amount gained: $8.9 billion

He Xiangjian, the founder of Midea Group, one of the world’s largest appliance makers, has had a 41.2% net worth increase from March to present.

Pictured: Midea’s headquarters in Beijiao

Keyence DE / Wikimedia Commons
Keyence DE / Wikimedia Commons

26. Takemitsu Takizaki

  • Beginning net worth: $17.4 billion

  • Ending net worth: $26.9 billion

  • Amount gained: $9.5 billion

Japanese billionaire Takemitsu Takizaki has made his fortune from the manufacturing company Keyence. His net worth has risen by nearly $10 billion over recent months.

Giving Back: 52 Celebrities Making the Largest Donations to Coronavirus Causes

Wu Hong/EPA / Shutterstock.com
Wu Hong/EPA / Shutterstock.com

25. Hui Ka Yan

  • Beginning net worth: $21.8 billion

  • Ending net worth: $33.4 billion

  • Amount gained: $11.6 billion

Chinese real estate mogul Hui Ka Yan has seen a huge rise in his wealth from March to present. He also donated $15 million — 0.04% of his net worth — to coronavirus charities as of August.

Wesley Hitt/Walmart / Flickr.com
Wesley Hitt/Walmart / Flickr.com

24. Jim Walton

  • Beginning net worth: $54.6 billion

  • Ending net worth: $66.3 billion

  • Amount gained: $11.7 billion

Walmart heir Jim Walton gained $11.7 billion of his net worth during the height of the pandemic. He donated $3.57 million toward coronavirus charities — less than 0.01% of his total net worth.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr.com
Gage Skidmore / Flickr.com

23. Rob Walton

  • Beginning net worth: $54.1 billion

  • Ending net worth: $66 billion

  • Amount gained: $11.9 billion

Rob Walton — also a Walmart heir — gained nearly 22% of his net worth despite the pandemic. He contributed $3.57 million to coronavirus efforts from March to August.

Guy Bell/REX / Shutterstock.com
Guy Bell/REX / Shutterstock.com

22. Alice Walton

  • Beginning net worth: $54.4 billion

  • Ending net worth: $66.5 billion

  • Amount gained: $12.1 billion

Walmart heiress Alice Walton gained over $12 billion of her net worth during the pandemic. She donated $3.57 million to the coronavirus charities.

©FRANCK ROBICHON/EPA/REX/Shutterstock
©FRANCK ROBICHON/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

21. Tadashi Yanai & Family

  • Beginning net worth: $19.7 billion

  • Ending net worth: $31.8 billion

  • Amount gained: $12.1 billion

Tadashi Yanai founded the retail clothing empire Fast Retailing, whose brands include Uniqlo, Theory, Helmut Lang, J Brand and GU. His net worth has increased by 61.4% since the pandemic began.

Nati Harnik/AP / Shutterstock.com
Nati Harnik/AP / Shutterstock.com

20. Warren Buffett

  • Beginning net worth: $67.5 billion

  • Ending net worth: $80.1 billion

  • Amount gained: $12.6 billion

Investor Warren Buffett has managed to weather the storm of market volatility — and has come out even stronger on the other side. His net worth has increased by 18.7%.

©AP/REX/Shutterstock
©AP/REX/Shutterstock

19. Amancio Ortega

  • Beginning net worth: $55.1 billion

  • Ending net worth: $68 billion

  • Amount gained: $12.9 billion

The man behind the Zara empire, Amancio Ortega, has become 23.4% richer from mid-March to October. The Spanish billionaire donated $68 million to coronavirus charities.

©STEPHANIE LECOCQ/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock
©STEPHANIE LECOCQ/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

18. Jack Ma

  • Beginning net worth: $38.8 billion

  • Ending net worth: $52.7 billion

  • Amount gained: $13.9 billion

With people doing more online shopping due to the pandemic, it’s no wonder that Alibaba’s co-founder Jack Ma saw a massive increase in his net worth. Ma has paid his good fortune forward with $14 million in donations to coronavirus charities, however.

©Seth Wenig/AP/REX/Shutterstock
©Seth Wenig/AP/REX/Shutterstock

17. Larry Page

  • Beginning net worth: $50.9 billion

  • Ending net worth: $65.9 billion

  • Amount gained: $15 billion

Google co-founder Larry Page has become 29.5% richer amid the pandemic.

Who Is It? This Is America’s Favorite Billionaire

Eric Risberg/AP / Shutterstock.com
Eric Risberg/AP / Shutterstock.com

16. Sergey Brin

  • Beginning net worth: $49.1 billion

  • Ending net worth: $64.2 billion

  • Amount gained: $15.1 billion

Google’s other co-founder, Sergey Brin, has grown his net worth by 30.8% from mid-March to October.

Richard Drew/AP / Shutterstock.com
Richard Drew/AP / Shutterstock.com

15. Michael Dell

  • Beginning net worth: $22.9 billion

  • Ending net worth: $38.5 billion

  • Amount gained: $15.6 billion

Perhaps an increase in people setting up home offices has led to the outrageous bump in Michael Dell’s wealth during the pandemic. The Dell Technologies chairman and CEO has been paying his good fortune forward with $104.1 million in donations to coronavirus charities as of August. Although that’s a hefty sum, it amounts to just 0.29% of his total net worth during that period.

d_odin / Shutterstock.com
d_odin / Shutterstock.com

14. Dieter Schwarz

  • Beginning net worth: $19.8 billion

  • Ending net worth: $35.4 billion

  • Amount gained: $15.6 billion

Owner of the Kaufland and Lidl store chains, German billionaire Dieter Schwarz has become much wealthier during the pandemic.

Francois Mori/AP/REX / Shutterstock.com
Francois Mori/AP/REX / Shutterstock.com

13. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers & Family

  • Beginning net worth: $48.9 billion

  • Ending net worth: $65.2 billion

  • Amount gained: $16.3 billion

L’Oreal heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers is the richest woman in the world — and she’s become even richer during the pandemic. However, Bettencourt Meyers also donated $2.01 million to coronavirus causes.

Matt Baron/REX / Shutterstock.com
Matt Baron/REX / Shutterstock.com

12. François Pinault & Family

  • Beginning net worth: $27 billion

  • Ending net worth: $44.5 billion

  • Amount gained: $17.5 billion

François Pinault is another luxury fashion mogul who has managed to become richer during the pandemic despite a drop in sales in the sector. Pinault — who founding Kering, the group that owns Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Gucci — has seen his net worth increase by $17.5 billion. As of August, he had donated $4.3 million — roughly 0.01% of his net worth — to coronavirus charities.

Elaine Thompson/AP/REX / Shutterstock.com
Elaine Thompson/AP/REX / Shutterstock.com

11. Bill Gates

  • Beginning net worth: $98 billion

  • Ending net worth: $115.8 billion

  • Amount gained: $17.8 billion

Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ fortune has grown by 18.2% amid the pandemic. Well-known as a philanthropist, Gates gave the largest monetary donation to coronavirus causes of any billionaire from March to August: $305 million. As a percentage of net worth, however, his donation was not the greatest: 0.27% — less than half of Potanin’s 0.64%.

©Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock
©Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock

10. Phil Knight & Family

  • Beginning net worth: $29.5 billion

  • Ending net worth: $49.3 billion

  • Amount gained: $19.8 billion

Nike founder Phil Knight has become 67.1% richer during the coronavirus crisis. He also donated $10 million — 0.02% of his total net worth — to coronavirus charities between March and August.

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Ben Margot/AP / Shutterstock.com
Ben Margot/AP / Shutterstock.com

9. Larry Ellison

  • Beginning net worth: $59 billion

  • Ending net worth: $78.9 billion

  • Amount gained: $19.9 billion

Tech billionaire Larry Ellison has added 33.7% to his net worth since mid-March.

©Andrew Gombert/EPA/REX/Shutterstock
©Andrew Gombert/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

8. Steve Ballmer

  • Beginning net worth: $52.7 billion

  • Ending net worth: $71.2 billion

  • Amount gained: $18.5 billion

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s net worth has increased a great deal during the pandemic. The tech billionaire had donated $28 million to coronavirus charities by August.

JEROME FAVRE/EPA-EFE / Shutterstock.com
JEROME FAVRE/EPA-EFE / Shutterstock.com

7. Ma Huateng

  • Beginning net worth: $38.1 billion

  • Ending net worth: $58.5 billion

  • Amount gained: $20.4 billion

Chinese technology billionaire Ma Huateng’s wealth has increased by 53.5% during the pandemic.

Clemens Bilan/EPA-EFE / Shutterstock.com
Clemens Bilan/EPA-EFE / Shutterstock.com

6. MacKenzie Scott

  • Beginning net worth: $36 billion

  • Ending net worth: $59.6 billion

  • Amount gained: $23.6 billion

MacKenzie Scott received 4% of Amazon as part of her divorce settlement with Jeff Bezos, Forbes reported, and those shares have helped her become 65.6% richer amid the coronavirus pandemic. Amazon sales soared 26% in the first quarter of 2020 as people did more shopping from home, The Washington Post reported.

Scott had given $100 million — 0.17% of her total net worth — to coronavirus causes as of August.

Martin Bureau/Afp Pool/EPA/REX / Shutterstock.com
Martin Bureau/Afp Pool/EPA/REX / Shutterstock.com

5. Bernard Arnault & Family

  • Beginning net worth: $76 billion

  • Ending net worth: $117 billion

  • Amount gained: $41 billion

As LVMH CEO, Bernard Arnault oversees an empire of 70 brands that include Louis Vuitton and Sephora. His net worth has risen by $41 billion during the pandemic.

Arnault donated $5.4 million to coronavirus charities between March and August, which is less than 0.01% of his total net worth.

catwalker / Shutterstock.com
catwalker / Shutterstock.com

4. Mark Zuckerberg

  • Beginning net worth: $54.7 billion

  • Ending net worth: $96.8 billion

  • Amount gained: $42.1 billion

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has become 77% richer during the pandemic. He donated $180 million to coronavirus charities as of August — a drop in the bucket for the tech billionaire.

Ajit Solanki/AP / Shutterstock.com
Ajit Solanki/AP / Shutterstock.com

3. Mukesh Ambani

  • Beginning net worth: $36.8 billion

  • Ending net worth: $85.2 billion

  • Amount gained: $48.4 billion

The net worth of Indian energy billionaire Mukesh Ambani has increased $48.4 billion during the pandemic. He donated $68.32 million — 0.09% of his total net worth — to coronavirus causes from March to August.

John Raoux/AP/REX/ / Shutterstock.com
John Raoux/AP/REX/ / Shutterstock.com

2. Elon Musk

  • Beginning net worth: $24.6 billion

  • Ending net worth: $87.9 billion

  • Amount gained: $63.3 billion

Despite having to shut down Tesla production facilities due to the pandemic, Elon Musk’s net worth has grown by a whopping 257.3%.

Pradeep Gaur/Mint / Shutterstock.com
Pradeep Gaur/Mint / Shutterstock.com

1. Jeff Bezos

  • Beginning net worth: $113 billion

  • Ending net worth: $185.6 billion

  • Amount gained: $72.6 billion

The richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, has made the most money during the pandemic. Bezos has given about 64.3% of his total net worth to coronavirus causes, which amounts to $127 million worth of donations.

More From GOBankingRates

Photo disclaimer: Photos are for illustrative purposes only. As a result, some of the images may not reflect the people or companies listed in this article.

Methodology: In order to discover how these 50 billionaires have fared during the coronavirus crisis, GOBankingRates first looked at the 50 richest people in the world as sourced from Forbes’ “2020 World’s Billionaire List” with data from March 18, 2020. Using this list, GOBankingRates found (1) pre-coronavirus crisis net worth for each of the top 50 richest billionaires. GOBankingRates then used Forbes’ “Real-Time Billionaire List” to find each of the top 50 richest billionaire’s (2) net worth as of the end of trading on Oct. 7, 2020. GOBankingRates then took the above factors to discover the following for each billionaire: (3) total amount gained or lost (March 18 to Oct. 7) and (4) percent change in net worth during the entire COVID-19 pandemic thus far. All data was collected on and up to date as of Oct. 7, 2020.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: These 47 Billionaires Got Richer During the Pandemic