How Rich is Scrooge McDuck?

Money Bin
As of March 2009, Bill Gates is the richest man in the world at around $40 billion. If that's what a pants wearing man can make, how much could a fine feathered duck possibly be worth? There's no dispute Scrooge McDuck is the richest duck in the world, richer than Flintheart Glomgold and wealthier than John D. Rockerduck. But exactly how wealthy is Scrooge McDuck? Scrooge has unlimited fictional resources that include Gizmoducks and time travel, deep sea diving and outer space exploration, but these resources vary from writer to writer, so determining the precise wealth is a gray area.

The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck by Don Rosa claims “Five multiplujillion, nine impossibidillion, seven fantasticatrillion dollars and sixteen cents.” For some reason, that number seems slightly on the fictional side. But a fictional duck has fictional wealth, why not, right? Forbes Magazine in the famous Forbes Fictional 15 states that Scrooge is the wealthiest of fictional characters but at a measly 28.8 billion. Nearly half as much as Gates, I don't think so. I don't even know where they're getting this number from, I mean, they have Ming the Merciless on the list and I'm fairly certain his wealth cannot be measure by Earth standards, he's got space bucks or moon dollars. The fans of Wolf Gnards insist, nay, demand that I show the work, and Forbes should be held to the same standards. It's as if people think that Forbes is a more trusted and dependable institution than Wolf Gnards.

The real answer to Scrooge McDuck's worth: $ 27 Trillion (That's Trillion with a “T”)
Scrooge Swims
I'll break it down for you. Carl Barks ,the creator of Scrooge McDuck, Duckburg, and the Money Bin, states that the Money Bin is three “cubic acres,” now an acre is a measurement of area and not length, but let's assume Barks meant a length of 43,560 ft. The Money Bin would therefor have a volume of 247,961,850,048,000 cubic feet, or roughly the size of three football stadiums stacked one on top of the other. The McDuck Money Bin is the largest structure in Duckburg, so this sounds about right. We know most of the money in the bin is in coin form, we've seen Scrooge swim it, but to find the value we have to assume that each coin is the equivalent to a dollar and is roughly the size of a silver dollar. By finding the dimensions of a silver dollar, we can calculate a silver dollar volume of 2736.22 mm. If we convert the bin to millimeters and divide by the volume of silver dollars, a maximum of 27,621,599,101,910 coins can fit in the vault. Allowing for empty space and different value coins we can round down to $27 trillion, actually $27 trillion and 10 cents (let's not forget his number one dime).

However, this isn't Scrooge's net value, just what's in his actual Money Bin. This doesn't count all of McDuck Industries: his mills, gold mines, oil rigs, and islands of diamonds. Whatever his value is, I think it's safe to say, it's a little more than Bill Gates.

Forbes, you've been gnarded, yo! Leave the useless facts to the professionals.

  • Rick
    Comment from: Rick "The Hat" Bman
    08/28/09 @ 07:30:18 am

    I've always wondered just how much money Scrooge had in that vault.

    Of course, thanks to this post, I now have the Ducktales theme song stuck in my head. I guess that isn't so bad, yesterday I have the song "A Whole New World" from Aladdin stuck in my head.

  • Bryan M.
    Comment from: Bryan M.
    08/28/09 @ 11:55:24 am

    Well you cracked the case, which i am sure is harder than cracking the money bin

  • bobjinx
    Comment from: bobjinx
    08/28/09 @ 07:33:43 pm

    Nice sleuthing...the key was digging up the size of the money bin from Carl Banks. Cartoon research I applaud.

  • W. G. Nards
    Comment from: W. G. Nards
    08/28/09 @ 07:45:11 pm

    I have to say I think Forbes was being a little lazy. The clues are all there, you just need to put it together.

  • Stumbler
    Comment from: Stumbler
    09/11/09 @ 09:27:16 am

    I'm disappointed in your work.
    You assume that each coin made of solid gold is worth one dollar. Current gold prices fluctuate between $1111.56 and $992.86 USD per troy ounce (as of 10 Sept 2009). The the mass of a silver dollar is 0.260 troy oz. If we use $1000 as the current asking price for gold, each silver dollar sized coin of solid gold would be worth approximately $260. 27,621,599,101,910 coins X $260 per coin = 7.18161577 × 10^15 or 7.18 quadrillion dollars. Not a mere 27 billion.

  • Stumbler
    Comment from: Stumbler
    09/11/09 @ 09:28:10 am

    Edit: Not a mere 27 trillion.

  • W. G. Nards
    Comment from: W. G. Nards
    09/11/09 @ 09:36:47 am

    I actually did think of that. The problem is there's no telling that the coins used in Duckburg are actual gold coins. It's probably actually more like a Euro than a silver dollars.

    I used a modern standard for coin value, and set it at $1. Stumbler is right, McDuck's coins could be any value, but we can't assume that they're gold coins just because they're shinny and yellow.

  • Jessy S.
    Comment from: Jessy S.
    10/16/09 @ 10:15:24 am

    Honestly I would put Scrooge McDuck's fortune at $100 Trillion and rising daily. To give an idea of how large Scrooge's fortune really is, Carl Barks wrote a neat story where Scrooge is having trouble putting money in the bin so the only solution is to spend it with Donald being the nephew/employee. Donald, Scrooge, and the boys then spend the bulk of the 9 pager spending money like there is no tomorrow. For example, they spend money on new and expensive cars just as soon as there is a minor problem such as a bug on the windshield. In the end Scrooge discovers that the entire trip was for naught as the money he spent is right back in his hands.

  • weeeeeeeee
    Comment from: weeeeeeeee
    01/13/10 @ 04:39:26 am

    This is an extract from the "Magic Hourglass" story:-

    'Scrooge is seen in this story attempting to reacquire a magic hourglass that he gave to Donald, before finding out that it acted as a protective charm for him. Scrooge starts losing one million dollars each minute, and comments that he will go bankrupt within 600 years'

    There is 315 569 260 minutes in 600 years x 1,000,000 =

    315,569,260,000,000

  • That Kind Of Girl
    Comment from: That Kind Of Girl
    04/16/10 @ 09:13:17 am

    Well, that seals it. You're pretty much a genius.

  • gps tracking devices
    Comment from: gps tracking devices
    07/12/10 @ 02:16:46 am

    A fun story.

  • Scrooge
    Comment from: Scrooge
    10/10/10 @ 06:59:00 am

    You don't understand the scale of your hypothetical money bin. Each face of a cube measuring 247,961,850,048,000 cubic feet would have more than twice the surface area of Washington, D.C. For a quick sanity check, divide your 43,560 feet by 5,280 to convert the units to miles. If you're used to using metric, 1 mile is 1.609344 km. That should make it apparent that something's not quite right about your football stadium analogy.

  • Don Rosa
    Comment from: Don Rosa
    11/25/10 @ 04:08:17 pm

    There is NO question that $crooge McDuck is the world's richest fictional character by FAR. And according to his creator, Carl Barks (not Banks!), Flintheart Glomgold is #2.
    But there are some glaring misconceptions in the above discussion. Most importantly, people seem to assume that the character seen in TV's "DuckTales" is in any way an accurate representation of Barks' $crooge. It is not. It was a nice show for the kiddies, but it was QUITE different from the TRUE $crooge McDuck's personality and background as seen ONLY in the comic books for which he was created. For one of many inaccuracies, on the show, the above-mentioned Glomgold was shown as Scottish -- in the original Barks comics, he is South African.
    Secondly, the coins in the Money Bin are NOT gold coins! That is one of the misconceptions introduced by "DuckTales" simply because it looks prettier on TV. The original gag, the *whole point* of Barks' idea for $crooge to have a Money Bin, was that he is SO cheap that he hordes all his common POCKET CHANGE in a giant bin. The coins are simply common silver quarters and dimes, nickle nickles and copper pennies. Yes, there are some early-20th-Century golden American coins and perhaps a few pirate doubloons in the lower levels since $crooge has been dumping money into that Bin since 1902. But it is NOT gold coins as seen on "DuckTales" and never has been. Also, as the writer points out above, the Bin is BY NO MEANS $crooge's total assets! It is only the money he earned with his own two hands from 1898 to 1930 (according to the comic books) which he treasures as his most beloved earnings.
    The writer is correct that Forbes has done VERY poor research on the true $crooge McDuck, but at least they now accurately show him as the world's wealthiest fictional character -- their first such lists had him in the middle of the pack, which was outrageous! I have repeatedly tried to contact Forbes about their lack of accurate data on $crooge, but they seem to be content with the way their "facts" appear now for reasons or their own, and do not reply to my messages.

  • Sodoman
    Comment from: Sodoman
    11/30/10 @ 08:50:35 am

    The assumption that every coin in the Safe worth a dollars is quite wrong!

    It is said many times in Barks or Rosa stories that some of the coins bear a colossal numismatic value.

    Plus, you can see some bills here and there.

  • Ioldanach
    Comment from: Ioldanach
    04/08/11 @ 12:26:33 pm

    I presumed a volume of one acre square and one foot deep, essentially substituting acre-feet for cubic acres, and got a vault roughly 50x50x50 feet, which if you look at the door on the outside, doesn't sound ridiculous. Taking that number (130,680 cubic feet, to be exact) and presuming 50% of the volume is occupied by gold, combining with today's gold price, I got a value of $1.9 trillion. Now, not everything was gold coin, some of the vault was valuable objects and cash, both of which are more pricey density-wise, I'd say the value of the vault itself exceeds $1.9 trillion.

  • Comment from: "DOC" McBunny
    06/30/11 @ 05:54:02 pm

    Lol... This is quite clever but it is I "Doc Mc Bunny' Who is the richest of them all... Just kidding:) Great Blog Scrooge see you in My MONEY BIN next time!!

  • micheal el osmans
    Comment from: micheal el osmans
    07/02/11 @ 05:17:25 am

    people are so rich, and others are so poor...
    help the orphans,help the street children, help the needy African students...
    please help us!!!

  • Raja Abdulqader
    Comment from: Raja Abdulqader
    10/04/11 @ 06:05:28 pm

    Hi i am happy for you ,send some for me i needed ,i am poor.

  • parkeren
    Comment from: parkeren
    02/03/12 @ 03:11:49 pm

    This is quite clever but it is I "Doc Mc Bunny' Who is the richest of them all... Just kidding:) Great Blog Scrooge see you in My MONEY BIN next time!

  • babydump
    Comment from: babydump
    04/09/12 @ 09:27:23 am

    I have to agree with parkeren, this is quite clever!

  • babydump
    Comment from: babydump
    04/17/12 @ 09:24:35 am

    Wow, I never knew he was so rich!

  • BladeMcCool
    Comment from: BladeMcCool
    04/25/12 @ 01:00:58 pm

    So uhh, you think Scrooge McDuck would hold fiat money in a vault where it cannot earn interest? You think he would contruct a huge vault and pay to secure it, simply to hold onto money created by central banks? Money that is debased daily by monetary policy he has no control over? You think he is stupid? No. Scrooge McDuck deals in gold, platinum and silver. And that is worth storing in your own vault, so it doesnt get rehypothecated on you like if you had it on deposit with some financial institution.

  • MathIsntHard
    Comment from: MathIsntHard
    04/26/12 @ 12:43:53 pm

    I know this article is old, but just to clarify the numbers, and you can dispute the coins all you want, a cubic acre is a cube where each face is one acre, since it is a unit of area, not length or volume.
    1 acre = 43,560 square feet
    1 cubic acre = 9,091,422 cubic feet
    1 foot = 0.3048 meters
    1 cubic acre = 257,440 cubic meters
    3 cubic acres = 772,321 cubic meters
    Therefore you would have a cube approximately 91.75 meters or 301 feet on each side. Since the vault on the outside, and I know the inside is slightly different, looks about twice as tall as it is wide or long, so a closer size would be 72 meters by 72 meters square that is 144 meters tall or 239 feet on each side by 478 feet tall. I think that is around 30 stories tall, but probably less and seems pretty reasonable for outer dimensions to extrapolate to inner dimensions.

  • Zalando.nl
    Comment from: Zalando.nl
    05/03/12 @ 03:19:18 am

    He seems to be very rich yes!

  • Scott
    Comment from: Scott
    12/12/12 @ 09:32:17 am

    I'm sorry but your math is off and for two simple reasons. First, Scrooge constantly refers to what's in his moneybin as primarily pure gold coins. So your theory of using $1 as the base unit in his bin is flawed. Additionally, I will grant you that most of the coins in the bin appear to be about the size of a dollar coin. However, being that they would be solid gold (and most likely 24 karat as Scrooge would never settle for less in his vault), the actual value of a single coin in Scrooge's vault would be around $1,028.33 (give this formula: (r=1.325 cm x H=.20 cm) x pi = 3.14159... x the density of gold (19.3 g/cc) = 16.07g per coin x $64.00/g current gold price). Plugging that figure into your formula, we receive a total of $28,404,119,004,467,110.30 or simply a little over $28 quadrillion dollars. Far greater than your paltry $27 trillion. This also makes sense as Scrooge is quoted in one episode as being the "World's richest Quadzillionaire" where Quadzillion is an urban derivative of Quadrillion.

  • W. G. Nards
    Comment from: W. G. Nards
    12/12/12 @ 11:05:51 am

    @Scott

    I agree with you 100%, and I like the way you think. The problem is we're assuming a lot on a duck based economy. Is there even a gold standard in the disney-verse? Their entire economy could be measured in feathers for all we know.

    So, I took what we do know about Scrooge's fortune and converted into a more Earth based monetary system. And, as far as I know, no mint presses coins of a $1000 value. The largest domination currently produced in the US is a $100 bill. Based on US and Euro standards, those coins are most likely between $1-$5. I picked $1 for my math, but even so the money bin could easily still have over $100 trillion in it.

  • Jason
    Comment from: Jason
    04/20/13 @ 09:16:18 pm

    WOW! I am a huge Disney fan, and a huge Scrooge McDuck fan. I love the way he dresses, his accent, and the fact that no matter how rich he is, he always puts his family first. I'm just so surprised, and happy that there are so many posts, and so much math going on all based on a fictional cartoon character! I love how people care this much!

  • noname
    Comment from: noname
    09/18/13 @ 08:12:54 pm

    You can't just measure Scrooges money based on the volume of the bin. Not only does it actually have a lot of bill money as well, more importantly he started filling it up with cash in the late 19th century. In one story, the Beagle Boys drilled a hole small enough to get 3-4 coins out, with nominal values of less than a dollar each, and they were worth hundreds of dollars to a collector. This was in a story published in the 90s from what I recall.

    So if you adjust to inflation and rarity of the coins, just his money bin would be worth anything from a hundred to a thousand times more than your estimate.

    This is not counting the paper money, or his various other treasures he dug up from sunk 15th century galleons, etc...

    In one story, he ordered the US military to attack a target with a missile he pinpointed, and the word from the brass was "push the button man, that guys taxes pay for 99% of our budget".

  • Link
    Comment from: Link
    10/06/13 @ 06:15:11 am

    You definitely are a genius... awesome job man ;)

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