Posted by: mostwanted | Thursday, April 2, 2009

What does a TRILLION $$$ look like?

All this talk about ‘stimulus packages’ and ‘bailouts’…

A billion dollars…

A hundred billion dollars…

Eight hundred billion dollars…

One TRILLION dollars…

What does that look like? I mean, these numbers are being tossed around like doggie treats, so I thought I’d take Google Sketchup out for a test drive and try to get a sense of what exactly a trillion dollars looks like.

We’ll start with a $100 bill. Currently the largest U.S. denomination in general circulation. Most everyone has seen them, slighty fewer have owned them. Some have lost ’em as soon as they have gotten ’em. They are, however, guaranteed to make friends wherever they go. 😉


A packet of a hundred $100 bills is less than 1/2″ thick and contains $10,000. Fits in your pocket easily and is more than enough for a week or two of shamefully, decadent fun and debauchery.


Believe it or not, this next little pile is a million dollars (100 packets of $10,000). You could stuff that into a grocery bag and walk around with it. Yeah not so impressive, right?

$1,000,000 (one million dollars)

So, while a measly $1 million looked a little unimpressive, a $100 million is a little more respectable. It fits neatly on a standard pallet…

$100,000,000 (one hundred million dollars)

And a $1 BILLION … now we’re really getting somewhere…

$1,000,000,000 (one billion dollars)

Next we’ll look at ONE TRILLION $$$. That is the number we’ve been hearing so much about. What is a trillion dollars? Well, it’s a million x million. It’s a thousand x billion. It’s a one followed by 12 zeros to be precise.

You ready for this?

It’s pretty surprising.

Go ahead…

Ladies and gentlemen… I give you $1 TRILLION dollars

$1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion dollars)

Notice those pallets are double stacked.
…and remember those are $100 bills.

So the next time you hear someone toss around the phrase a “trillion dollars”… that’s what they’re talking about. 🙂


* Step by step calculations & dimensions are here for those who may be interested.
* You may also be interested to see the U.S. National Debt in $100 dollar bills.


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