Forbes magazine just released its annual list of rich folks, and Washington is in there with eight billionaires. Off the top of your head, how many can you think of? The Microsoft people, that guy who lost us the Sonics -- I mean runs Starbucks, and there's somebody buying up everything in South Lake Union. Anyone else?
Here's your quick list of Washington's financial heavy-hitters:
Rank: #854 Worth $1.5B
Schultz is the chairman and CEO of Seattle-based Starbucks Corporation, the largest coffeehouse company in the world. Former owner of the Seattle Supersonics basketball team, he treated it like a business and ran it into the ground and out of town. He lives in Madison Park.
Rank: #854 Worth: $1.5B
Tied with Howie, Newell dropped out of Harvard and worked for Microsoft producing the early Windows releases. He left and liked working on the game Quake so much he went out and created Valve, the video game company that brought you Half-Life and Portal. He lives in Bellevue.
Rank: #804 Worth: $1.6B
McCaw was an early pioneer of cell-phones and he pretty much birthed and killed Clearwire. He bought MCI and sold it off to AT&T. He bought Nextel and sold it off to Sprint. He founded Clearwire and hasn't sold it off to anyone yet, but then who would want it? McCaw loved the movie "Free Willy" so much he spent $2 million to get Keiko the killer whale a new home in Oregon. He lives in Kirkland.
Rank: #377 Worth: $3B
Jannard, the founder of Oakley sunglasses, convinced people to spend hundreds of dollars on tiny pieces of plastic that broke when sat on. He has since moved on to movies, founding the RED Digital Cinema Camera Company. His RED cameras were used for filming "The Artist," "Beginners," "The Social Network," "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (US version), and "District 9." He lives in the San Juan Islands.
Rank: #48 Worth: $14.2B
Allen is Microsoft's Co-founder. He runs Vulcan, owns the Seattle Seahawks football team, the Seattle Sounders soccer team, the Portland Trailblazers basketball team, and also bought his own streetcar along with half of South Lake Union. He funded the Experience Music Project and the Sci-Fi Museum. Allen bought and revamped the amazing Seattle Cinerama movie theater. He has his own telescope array, an 80 percent stake in Ticketmaster, and is the sole investor of the first commercial space travel company Scaled Composite. He lives on Mercer Island.
Rank: #44 Worth: $15.7B
The boisterous Microsoft CEO, Ballmer was the company's 30th employee. He has been running the tech giant with verve for the past decade after a bitter leadership transition from Bill Gates. A fan of the Seattle Supersonics, he helped front half the money in an offer to re-vamp Key Arena so the team could stay. He lives in North Medina.
Rank: #26 Worth: $18.4B
The Amazon founder and CEO, Bezos wrote up a business plan for the online bookseller while on a trip cross-country to Seattle. He started the company in a garage, then moved it to the Asylum-looking building on Beacon Hill, and now has taken over most of South Lake Union. Bezos also owns a spaceflight company called Blue Origin. He lives in South Medina.
Rank: #2 Worth: $61B
The Microsoft Co-Founder, Gates is credited with popularizing personal computers, then aggressively dominating the computer revolution. He is generally always in the top three richest people in the world, but giving away money has put a dent in his rankings. Gates was #1, but thanks to his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the former top money-man traded $28 billion for another prestigious status, #1 most generous. He lives in his "Xanadu" house in West Medina.