Mark and Cindy Had a Surprising Way of Handling Their Lottery Win

Nov 25, 2023
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There is no need to mention how many times we have all walked down to the nearest local store, filled in a lottery ticket, and prayed for the day that all financial problems will be over. Mark and Cindy had the same dream too until they realized there was more to the ticket than just money.

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Their dream did come true, and for a while, they had all the money they could ever wish for, however, they decided to use it for a different purpose and they were about to amaze everyone around them.

A Simple Life in Missouri

Mark and Cindy were an ordinary couple. They were both born in Dearborn, Missouri, and lived there all of their lives. They raised their family in a big and warm community.

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Like many people, they used to buy lottery tickets, hoping for the day they would be the lucky winners. Having all the money in the world would make all their dreams come true. They chose to do otherwise.

They Won More Than Just the Lottery

Mark and Cindy did indeed win the lottery, but instead of pampering themselves and sorting their children out, they decided to use the money for a better cause.


They decided to donate the money to the community they lived in. They knew deep inside that the odds of someone else from the people around them winning the jackpot were so low, they decided to make a change not only to their life but to all the lives around them.

Everyone Was Amazed

Everyone was astonished. Their neighbors, friends, and fellow citizens were overwhelmed by their generosity and selflessness. They were all so moved.

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Mark and Cindy proved that sharing is caring and that sometimes other people’s happiness, can mean more they your own. Having said that, things weren’t always sailing smoothly for the couple.

Stuck in the Middle

Like most people who buy lottery tickets, Mark and Cindy were a middle-class working family who lived a modest life. In Dearborn, Missouri things were rough with the average annual salary being just $22,885.


Mark worked as a mechanic at Hillshire Brands, a meat packing factory. Up until 2010, Cindy worked as an office manager but then she lost her job and struggled to find something new.

They Adopted a Girl

Mark and Cindy’s family has always been embracing, warm and loving. They had three all grownup boys of their own and several years back, they adopted a little girl into their home.

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Now, although there was plenty of love in the house, money was something they were sometimes short of. With only one income, they found themselves struggling quite often.

Always on the Run

Cindy was looking for a new job opportunity on a daily basis, however, because they had a little girl at home she wasn’t flexible enough with the hours. She decided to stay at home and raise her little girl.

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This decision would make life difficult. Putting food on the table for so many mouths became a challenge and made them feel depressed more and more often.

She Waited Tables

Waiting tables was the only option Cindy believed would bring in some extra money into the household and would enable her to still be with her daughter at home. So that’s what she did.


She found a part-time waitressing position, however, still continued to look for other sources of income that wouldn’t keep her away from home for so many hours. One day she spotted something that was about to change her life forever.


An advertisement sign for a Powerball jackpot for $587.5 million is what caught her eye. What did she have to lose? Without thinking too much about it she bought five tickets at her local gas station.

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Altogether she spent $10 dollars. She didn’t want to choose the numbers on her own and she used the automatic computer machine to choose them for her.

The Winning Station

She left the gas station and placed the tickets in her car. She wasn’t aware that soon, those tickets were about to be worth a lot of money and change her world, and that of others, forever. Cindy wasn’t very optimistic.


When she came back home, she told her daughter about the ticket that she had bought and added that in the real world, no one you know ever succeeds, and winning the lottery remains usually only a dream.

It Was a Local Winner

The following day while walking her daughter to school she overheard someone saying that a person from Missouri is the big winner of the jackpot. She headed straight to the store where she bought the tickets.


She grabbed the tickets out of her car and went to see if she had any numbers. Even a small amount of money would do. She wasn’t thinking about winning it all.

She Was Blind With Bling

What she saw next blinded her eyes. She couldn’t believe what was there in front of her so she called Mark and her mother. Maybe she was playing makebelieve and her husband would be able to straighten things out.

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“I called my husband and told him, ‘I think I am having a heart attack,'” Cindy said in one interview. “‘I think we just won the lottery!'” She was shocked and couldn’t believe the words that came out of her mouth.

A Life Changing Moment

Within moments, their life had changed. They grasped just over $293 million and were now able to sort their lives out. In one second all of their financial problems vanished away.

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This also meant that Mark could take a break from working at the meat factory. He was physically working so hard and was desperate for a holiday, but could never afford it. Now he could, however, this was not all.

He Went Public

Mark didn’t think twice before sharing his big news on social media. He was very open and clear. He wrote that he and his family have won the lottery. As simple as that.

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Now to start with, he didn’t have a big list of followers, however, after this post, the numbers multiplied and he got numerous friend requests and new followers.

It Was Better to Be Outspoken

Mark preferred it that way. He realized there were a lot of rumors going around and he wanted to put an end to them. They lived in a small town where they all knew everything about everyone.

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He wanted to share his big news with his community and with the people that were around him on a daily basis. He had nothing to hide.

Everyone Had Something to Say

One of Mark and Cindy’s sons wasn’t lost for words either. He commented on the post by saying that he hoped his family wouldn’t change following this obscene amount of money that had come their way.

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He wished for them to stay down to earth, reasonable and modest as they were. The money came to them in a very easy way, and just like reaching them, it could just as easily disappear.

Everyone Was Getting Richer

This was the biggest prize that has ever been won in Missouri. Alongside Mark and Cindy, the local store’s employees, Kristi Williams, and Kelly Blount were thrilled too. It’s not every day that someone picks out some numbers and ends up becoming a millionaire.


Kristi and Kelly greeted every customer warmly and asked each one if they were the lucky winner. Now, Mark and Cindy were not alone, as the store received a whopping $50,000 for selling the winning ticket.

The Town Became Famous

Besides the publicity, this was a great event for the entire community. The town they lived in had around 500 residents altogether and Mark and Cindy’s ticket, definitely put them on the map.

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Believe it or not, the first thing the happy new millionaires wanted to do, was to adopt another child. They had so much love in their hearts and now they could afford to help others.

One Dream Was Too Much

Their daughter had a dream of owning a pony, however, Mark and Cindy had more modest gifts for her. Spending money on big and expensive things was not a wise thing to do, and they knew it.

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They didn’t want things to change too drastically. They wanted to remain the same simple people they were, just minus the financial struggles, but was this possible?

Some Things Couldn’t Wait

There were some things that had to be bought straight away. Mark urgently needed a new truck so he treated himself to a red Camaro instead of the old pickup truck he had.

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Another thing they wanted to do was take their daughter to the beach. She had never been before. Being able to make a little girl’s dream come true, like going out and spending a day on the beach, was something Mark and Cindy were longing to do, and finally could.

It Was School Time

Next, was a college fund. They had a lot of money and wanted to secure their family’s future. They put money aside for their grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. It was a gift only to be used in the far future, however, one day everyone would thank them.


This wasn’t all, as their generous hearts had more and more to give. They set up a fund designated for students who had scholarships and donated money to adoption charities.

It Couldn’t Be Ignored

It was only a matter of time before their story went viral. Jason, one of Mark and Cindy’s sons was interviewed by ABC news. he expressed how happy he was with what had happened and grateful for being able to help so many organizations.

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He was especially happy for his father that after so many years of hard work and not being able to take a break every now and then, he will finally be able to sit back and relax. With all the love that was around, there was still one thing Mark and Cindy couldn’t escape from.

Not Everyone Was Happy

Most residents around were over the moon and thrilled about the big news. Everyone loved Mark, Cindy, and their family, however, there were a few people that found it hard to keep their thoughts and feelings to themselves.


As far as mark and Cindy were concerned nothing had changed. They were still the humble and unpretentious family they were before — they just happened to have some more money in the bank. Not everyone was so supportive.

It Never Changed Them

Shirley, Mark’s mother didn’t believe what was going on. The morning after winning the jackpot, Cindy very calmly told Shirley that there was a possibility that they had won the money. Shirley didn’t believe her.


She too was interviewed on one of the news channels and she said that she thought it was a joke at first. However, once she came to terms with the big news, she was the happiest woman alive. She was so happy for her son and his family as they deserved it the most.

They Had to Do What They Had to Do

There were a few things on Mark and Cindy’s minds. They knew that before anything else, there were some things on their to-do list, that had to be done. There were some things they couldn’t wait for.

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They knew that if these things were postponed, they will never happen, and their next destination was China, where their adopted daughter was originally from.

All the Way to China

After China, it was Ireland where Mark and Cindy’s ancestors came from. All of this traveling only opened their appetites and made them want to see more and more.


They decided to spend their money on traveling the world and going to places they once could only dream of. Now they could dream, and afford. The world was in their hands.

After the World Came Reality

Three months later they decided to come back to Missouri. They traveled the world and touched every single continent, however, they eagerly wanted to come back to their familiar living community.


After coming back home, Mark, Cindy, and their children realized that with loads of money comes loads of responsibility. Envy and jealousy didn’t pass over them and those who found it difficult to swallow made Mark and Cindy’s sweet lives slightly bitter.

It Was Time to Settle Down

Mark and Cindy knew exactly what the next step was and how they were going to spend their money. It was time to spread their wealth and share their fortune with their loved ones around.


They decided to help the less fortunate in their community and help the ones who really needed financial aid in Missouri. It was time to give back.

Back to His Roots

Camden Point, Missouri was first. It was where Mark was originally from. The civic project in this town was the first to receive donations and there were more to come. The chief of the area’s fire department, Walt Stubbs, was interviewed by one of the news channels.


He described Mark, Cindy, and their family as modest and traditional people with generosity and big hearts. They were people who did beautiful things for their community, and for that, they should be praised.

A Brand New Fire Station

With that, a new fire station was built with some of the lottery money. The station was upgraded and was able now to provide better services to the residents around. Everyone was benefiting from this.


Escalating the fire station meant a lot to Mark. His father was rescued twice in the past by firefighters and for him, this was a great way to show his appreciation and gratitude. He couldn’t thank them enough, but he could for sure make their work a little easier with better facilities.

24/7 Service

Thanks to Mark and Cindy, their town now had a 24/7 ambulance, something they never had before. Even bigger towns, with more than 500 people like theirs, weren’t privileged enough to have their own ambulance.

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Mark said to KMBC, “How many towns of 500 people have an ambulance service that’s manned 24-7? Very few. I’m proud to be part of that.”

Never Neglect Sports

The baseball field was next. Their community deserved a baseball field. It was built away from the main road keeping it secured. The field came with an additional donation of $50,000.

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A sewage treatment plant was also constructed and by this, almost all of the residents were able now to get rid of their personal septic tanks. Mark and Cindy were changing the world for their community.

They Were Unstoppable

Mark and Cindy wanted to do more. Their next stop was Dearborn’s North Platte High School, where they both used to go. They wanted to improve the conditions for the pupils of today.


They focused on the school’s scholarship fund and boosted it. There were so many talented children out there that deserved a better-equipped school, and Mark and Cindy were there to make it happen.

They Shone Like Never Before

Shirley, Mark’s mother, said that not only was she overwhelmed by the fact they had won the money, but mainly because this money made her son and daughter-in-law shine even brighter than before.

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Many people who win obscene amounts of money, change and become selfish and greedy, but not Mark. The money has made him into a better person, even better than he was before.

In Honor of the Two

Mark and Cindy did so much for the community, it was time for the community to do something for them. On July 16th, 2016 the local fire department dedicated their new building to Mark and Cindy.


Although they were both grateful and thankful for what the fire department had done for them, they wanted everything to stay low-key and didn’t want to make a fuss about all this. The feeling they had after helping out so many people was more than they could ask for.

This Was Their Purpose in Life

This was now their goal. They used their money to help whoever they could and believed that this was the initial intention of their winning. Yes, they had an amazing trip around the world and were able to save for the future but that’s where it ends.

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Mark and Cindy were unique. Most people who win the lottery go down a dark path. Money changes them and many find it hard to cope with their new lives. The newfound money starts to rule their world.

Not Everyone Was the Same

While many crumble under the pressure, Mark and Cindy keep their heads up high. While some lack financial advice, Mark and Cindy were the biggest advisers they could have.

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While many are influenced by family and close ones, Mark and Cindy stuck to what they believed in and followed their hearts, and were able to achieve wealth in the long term. For life.

Mark and Cindy are rich. No doubt about that. Winning more than two hundred million dollars will definitely make most people place you in the rich category. However, even they will be considered mere beggars when placed by the richest people in America. They would still have to make a few more billions to match up with the richest person in their native Missouri. Keep reading to find out who the richest people in each US state are.

The United States of America is home to more billionaires than any other country. There are 724, to be exact. Together, these individuals are worth $4.4 trillion, an amount that would cover the entire U.S. federal budget.

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The land of free-market capitalism is also home to the highest-ranking billionaires in the world. Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest in any state or nation, he is the richest person in the world. All told, the U.S. is a haven to so many billionaires and multi-millionaires that we have categorized the super affluent, state-by-state, to get an in-depth look at America’s wealth.

Alice Walton


Alice Walton is another heir of Sam Walton, founder of the Walmart superstore chain. She has a net worth of $66.9 billion. Walton is the only daughter of Walton but is one of three siblings.

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She has an interest in art and opened Crystal Bridges of American Art in her birth town of Newport, Arkansas. It is a museum of modern art featuring famous works from Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, and Norman Rockwell.

Susan Alfond


Susan Alfond inherited her wealth from her father’s business. She has a net worth of $2.6 billion. Harold Alfond established the Dexter Shoe Company after buying an old mill in Maine and converting it into shoemaking.

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Susan Alfond shares the fortune with one remaining sibling. The siblings cashed out in 1993 by selling the company to Berkshire Hathaway for $420 million in stock. Alfond’s shares are worth billions in today’s market.

Daniel Gilbert


Daniel Gilbert made a fortune with Quicken Loans. He founded the massive mortgage lender in 1985 when he was 22. It became the largest mortgage lender in the U.S.

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Gilbert has made real estate investments in downtown Detroit, purchasing and upgrading old properties with a plan to create 24,000 jobs. He owns the pro basketball team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he has plans to bring a professional soccer team to Detroit.

Mack C. Chase

New Mexico

In New Mexico, Mack Chase is the wealthiest resident with $700 million in net worth. The oil and gas tycoon hit black gold in the Permian Basin oilfields of Texas and New Mexico. Chase first began working on wells with his father and brother and then went off on his own in 1968.

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In 1979, The self-made oilman partnered with John Grey and founded Marbob Energy with a pumping service company in southeast New Mexico. Chase split with Gray and branched out into Mack Energy Corp., a new firm.

John Overdeck

New Jersey

Hedge fund manager John Overdeck is also co-founder and co-chairman of a New York City firm, Two Sigma Investments, that manages $66 billion. It is a data-driven hedge fund that uses algorithms and lots of data to price securities. At age 16, Overdeck was a math whiz who won the International Mathematical Olympiad.

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In 2019, Forbes named him one of the wealthiest hedge fund managers. With a net worth of $6.5 billion, Overdeck is New Jersey’s top dog. He supports many charitable causes and has donated $195 million to his philanthropic foundation.

Jacqueline Mars


Jacqueline Mars owns one-third of the Mars candy empire founded by her grandfather. She worked for the world’s largest candy maker for 20 years and served on the board until 2006.

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She is known for her philanthropy and sits on the Smithsonian and the National Archives boards. During the 2020 pandemic, Mars’ net worth went up over 26% to $31.3 billion.

Frank VanderSloot


Frank VanderSloot is a businessman of many trades. He is the richest person in Idaho with a net worth of $2.7 billion. He is the founder and C.E.O. of wellness and nutrition company Melaleuca, Inc., but he has an array of financial interests.

VanderSloot’s entrepreneurial efforts include ranching, owning the Riverbend Communications radio network, and political financing. In government, VanderSloot’s political contributions paid off with an appointment to the board of directors on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He owns Riverbend Ranch, one of the nation’s largest cattle operations.

Harry Stine


The wealthiest man in Iowa is Harry Stine. He is a seed manufacturer who operates an agricultural business specializing in corn and soybean seed licensing to large multinational agricultural corporations like Monsanto and Syngenta.

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Stine took to farming and developed an interest in seeds as a 5-year-old growing up on an Iowa farm. With a touch of autism, Stine is a master data and number cruncher and has created seed genetics firm Stine Seed and built himself a net worth of $5.5 billion.

Mark Zuckerberg


With 188 billionaires residing in California in 2021, the Golden State is easily the nation’s top destination of America’s wealthiest. Mark Zuckerberg stands at the top of this list. The Silicon Valley Facebook co-founder earns $6 to $12 million per day.

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By year’s end, he takes in about $3 billion. Zuckerberg founded the social media behemoth in 2004 as a college student. He has a net worth of $96.9 billion. Zuckerberg signed the “The Giving Pledge,” an effort sponsored by Bill and Melinda Gates that encourages billionaires to give the bulk of their wealth to charity.

John Menard, Jr.


With a net worth of $14 billion, John Menard, Jr. has come a long way since starting a construction business in 1958. He opened a chain of home improvement stores in the Midwest called Menards. It has grown to 300 stores and $10.7 billion in sales.

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Menard’s home improvement stores opened 20 years before Home Depot. The billionaire is an Indy 500 sponsor and his car won in 2019. His son is a former NASCAR racer.

Warren Buffett


Warren Buffet is the 7th wealthiest person in the world. The Berkshire Hathaway C.E.O. has a net worth of $109.4 billion, making him Nebraska’s clear winner in wealth. He got his start running a hedge fund. Once he made his first million, he went into bank ownership.

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Today, Berkshire Hathaway owns Geico, Duracell, Dairy Queen, and about 60 other companies. Known as the frugal billionaire, he is one of the world’s most profitable investors. He resides in his original 1958 home purchased for $31,500. Buffett joined the Gates foundation’s giving pledge and has promised to donate 99% of his wealth.

Philip Anschutz


Businessman Philip Anschutz is worth $10.1 billion. He has generated his wealth from a wide range of industries over five decades. In entertainment, he owns Anschutz Entertainment Group with 100 venues worldwide.

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In sports, he owns the N.H.L.’s Los Angeles Kings and a third of the L.A. Lakers. A 300,000-acre windmill farm in Wyoming is also under his umbrella of assets. Besides entertainment and energy, Anschutz also built his fortune in telecom, railroads, oil, and real estate.

Miriam Adelson


The richest person in Nevada was Sheldon Adelson, the casino tycoon until he died on January 11, 2021. Now the wealthiest person in Nevada is his wife and heir, Miriam Adelson.


They have four children and 11 grandchildren. Adelson made his money running half of the Sands Hotel & Casino gambling empire with casinos in Vegas, Singapore, and Macao, China. He was C.E.O. of the $14 billion in sales gambling behemoth. She has a net worth of $38.2 billion.

Glen Taylor


Billionaire Glen Taylor made his fortune by acquiring a wedding services business in 1975 and turning it into a $2 billion annual sales printing firm. He served as C.E.O. of Taylor Corp. until 2015 but remains chairman of the board.

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Taylor owns farmland in Minnesota and Iowa. He also owns a stake in the N.B.A.’s Timberwolves. In 2014, he purchased the Minneapolis Star Tribune. His net worth is $2.9 billion.

Ray Dalio


The richest man in Connecticut is Ray Dalio. Worth $20.3 billion, Dalio made his fortune founding Bridgewater Associates, the biggest hedge fund company in the nation. The fund manages $150 billion in assets.

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He started Bridgewater from his N.Y.C. apartment as a recent graduate from Harvard Business School. Dalio has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to charity. His personal philanthropic foundation supports inner-city education.

Phil Knight


Phil Knight is the co-founder and former C.E.O. of the world’s most famous footwear brand. In 1964, he invested $500 into the tennis shoe company.

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Today, Nike brings in over $37 billion annually. He created Nike with his college track coach, Bill Bowerman, at the University of Oregon. Knight is a generous philanthropist and has donated about $2 billion. Knight is worth about $49.7 billion.

John Mars


As the third heir of the Mars candy empire, John Mars has a $31.8 billion net worth. He, like his siblings, inherited Mars, Inc. when their father died in 1999. At that time, John Mars was bequeathed $24 billion.

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The company started in 1911 when the founder of Mars, Inc. Frank Mars began making hand-dipped chocolate. The company makes Mars Bar, Twix, 3 Musketeers, and M&Ms. Each day, 400 million M&Ms candies are produced in the U.S.

Michael Bloomberg

New York

Out of New York state’s 118 billionaires, Michael Bloomberg is the wealthiest. Bloomberg has a net worth of $59 billion. He struck it rich co-founding Bloomberg LP, a financial information and media company, in 1981. He owns 88% of the $10 billion company.

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He was a presidential candidate in 2019. Bloomberg served as the mayor of N.Y.C. for 12 years. His philanthropic work has contributed more than $5 billion to various causes.

Jimmy Rane


Jimmy Rane made his fortune in the lumber industry. He is C.E.O. of Alabama’s Great Southern Wood Preserving, a company he founded in 1970. He is widely known as The Yella Fella, a cowboy persona he developed for marketing.

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As one of the nation’s biggest lumber companies, Rane holds about $950 million in net worth, just shy of the billionaire category.

Les Wexner


Les Wexner is the founder of L Brands, a once-trendy conglomerate of global fashion brands like Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, and Abercrombie & Fitch. He launched his women’s clothing empire with The Limited and then purchased the remaining companies.

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He acquired Victoria’s Secret as a floundering San Francisco lingerie shop for $1 million. Ten years later it was worth $1 billion. In 2020, responding to a downturn in the popularity of his brands, Wexner stepped down from his five-decade position as C.E.O. and sold Victoria’s Secret to a private equity firm. He retains a $6.6 billion net worth.

Thomas First, Jr.


Thomas First, Jr. is easily the wealthiest person in Tennessee with a net worth of $17.6 billion. In 1968, he co-founded Hospital Corp. of America with his father.

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The former Air Force flight surgeon took the company public in 2011 and it became HCA Healthcare, a massive healthcare company with 185 hospitals and 1,800 patient care offices. It operates in 21 U.S. states and in London.

Jonathan Nelson

Rhode Island

Jonathan Nelson served as C.E.O. of Providence Equity Partners until January 2021 and is currently executive chairman of the firm. Since founding the company in 1989, Nelson led investments into at least 160 companies. Primarily, businesses in media, communications, education, and informational industries.

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The equity firm cashed in $1.3 billion by selling its stake in an automotive software company called OEConnection, tripling its original 2016 investment. Nelson holds a $2.1 billion net worth.

Dennis Washington


Dennis Washington has a net worth of $6.1 billion. He owns the majority interest in The Washington Companies, a diversified business group with a large stake in mining.

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Washington Companies owns a stake in two diamond mines, a copper mine, and a regional railroad. Washington, himself, is also invested in Seaspan Corp., a container ship company co-founded by his son Kyle, that operates more than 110 container ships.

John Abele


John Abele is the director and co-founder of Boston Scientific. He is Vermont’s wealthiest citizen with $640 million in net worth. Abele took his medical device company public in 1992 and by 1996 he made the Forbes 400 list as a billionaire.

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His company developed devices to provide less invasive treatments for patients. It has $9.8 billion in sales, but Abele now owns only a small stake. John is also a philanthropist and has donated much of his fortune to causes.

Carl Cook


Medical device manufacturer Carl Cook inherited Cook Group from his parents who launched the medical supplies company in 1963. It specializes in devices for minor surgeries like stents and filters.

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Carl Cook is president of Cook MyoSite, a life sciences division that is developing cell therapy treatment for incontinence. He has a $9.6 billion net worth. In 2017, the company cashed out and sold subsidiary Cook Pharmica for $950 million.

Anita Zucker

South Carolina

Anita Zucker has a net worth of $1.9 billion making her South Carolina’s richest. Her late husband, Jerry Zucker, an immigrant from Israel, was an inventor who founded InterTech Group, a privately-owned chemicals manufacturer.

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It has $3 billion in revenue. Additionally, an aerospace engineering firm and a large commercial real estate firm are under the InterTech umbrella. Anita Zucker is C.E.O. of the enterprise. She is also known for her philanthropy.

Pauline MacMillan Keinath


Pauline MacMillan Keinath is the largest shareholder of the world’s largest food company. Cargill is a food, agriculture, financial, and industrial enterprise that started as a single grain warehouse at an Iowa railroad stop in 1865.

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Pauline MacMillan Keinath’s great-grandfather, W. W. Cargill founded Cargill and it is the biggest private company in the U.S. She is believed to hold the largest share, approximately 13%. The billionaire heiress has been the richest person in Missouri for many years. She has a net worth of $6.4 billion.

T. Denny Sanford

South Dakota

Denny Sanford is the founder and owner of First Premier Bank, a company that specializes in providing high-interest rate credit cards to high-risk applicants. First Premier Bank has only 17 branches, yet it is one of Mastercard’s top vendors.

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Sanford is South Dakota’s richest person with $2.8 billion. He is known for saying that he wants to give all his money away and die broke. He has given $1.6 billion away so far.

Harold Hamm


Self-made billionaire Harold Hamm went from rags to riches as the son of Oklahoma sharecroppers picking cotton, to becoming an oil tycoon with $9.3 billion in net worth. He drilled his first well in 1971. He was C.E.O. of Continental Resources until 2019 and currently serves as executive chairman.

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Hamm is the father of fracking, a controversial oil drilling method that uses horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Tapping into oil by fracking led to the U.S.’s global dominance in oil production.

Thomas Peterffy


C.E.O. and founder of Interactive Brokers in Palm Beach, Florida, Thomas Peterffy is a landowner and electronic brokerage operator. The self-made billionaire started with nothing when he emigrated to the U.S. from communist-run Hungary in 1965.

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As a self-taught programmer, he developed one of the earliest electronic trading systems. By 1997, he bought a seat at the N.Y.S.E. He owns 500,000 acres of timber property in Florida, the largest holding of anyone east of the Mississippi River. He has a net worth of $18.8 billion.

Jim Kennedy


As chairman of Cox Enterprises, James Cox Kennedy is invested in communications and media. The company provides broadband digital services, telephone, home security, and automotive services.

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His grandfather, James M. Cox, founded the media company in 1898 after purchasing the Dayton Evening News. Today it’s worth $9.2 billion. Kennedy is a prominent philanthropist who gives to a wide range of charities.

Charles Koch


Koch Industries is a family venture founded in 1940 by Charles Koch’s father, Fred Koch. He developed a successful refining method for turning heavy crude into gasoline. Charles Koch is C.E.O. and chairman of Koch Industries with a net worth of $46.7 billion.

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Today, the company has its hand in a wide range of industries and manufacturing. It produces brands like Stainmaster carpet, Dixie Cup and Quilted Northern Tissue. Koch Industries makes fertilizers, offers commodity trading, mines minerals, makes pollution control equipment, and runs ranches. As a politically active libertarian, Koch donated $2.8 million to GOP PACs in 2020.

Abigail Johnson


Abigail Johnson is one of the world’s richest women with a $21.4 billion net worth. She is C.E.O. of Fidelity Investments with a 24.5% share in the mutual fund company. The Boston-based finance company was founded by Johnson’s grandfather, Edward Johnson, II.

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It manages $3.8 trillion in assets. Johnson earned an M.B.A. at Harvard in 1998 and then became an analyst at Fidelity. She has been chairman since 2016 after taking over for her father.

Tamara Gustavson


Tamara Gustavson is worth $6.5 billion. As the richest person in Kentucky, she acquired most of her wealth by inheriting a stake in her father’s self-storage company. She holds an 11% share of Public Storage, the company B. Wayne Hughes co-founded in 1972.

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She is also on the board of his company American Homes 4 Rent. Gustavson lives on a lavish Kentucky farm called Spendthrift, where she breeds racehorses.

James Goodnight

North Carolina

James Goodnight got into the software industry early. In 1976, he and North Carolina State University colleague John Sall co-founded SAS, a $3.1 billion analytics software company.

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Goodnight has served as C.E.O. of SAS since its inception. It is one of the world’s leading business analytics software firms. Goodnight is the richest person in North Carolina with $6.5 billion.

Victoria Mars


Candy bar heiress Victoria Mars has a $7.9 billion net worth. She is heir to Mars, Inc., a candy and pet food company. Her great-grandfather was Frank Mars, who founded the company back in 1911. It makes M&Ms, Skittles, Milky Way, Pedigree, and Whiskas brands.

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The company also makes Ben’s Original rice. Mars, Inc. brings in $40 billion annually. Victoria Mars and her siblings inherited an 8% stake after her brother, Forrest Mars, Jr., died in 2016.

Jim Walton


Jim Walton is easily Arkansas’ richest person with a net worth of $65 billion. Walton is super-wealthy because he is the youngest son and heir to big box store Walmart founder Sam Walton.

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Additionally, he is C.E.O. and chairman of Arvest Bank, the family’s financial institution holding $20 billion. He and his heirs own half of Walmart.

Jim Justice, II

West Virginia

Jim Justice, II was West Virginia’s only billionaire when he was elected governor in 2016. Now, according to Forbes, he is a multimillionaire with a net worth of $451.4 million. Justice inherited his fortune from his father’s coal business. He owns coal mines in five states.

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Beginning in 2016, however, his net worth began to shrink substantially due to court orders and tax-related liens adding up to over $23 million. His company faces about $300 million in reclamation claims.

Pierre Omidyar


Pierre Omidyar is the founder of several companies, including eBay. Born in Paris and raised in the U.S., Omidyar studied at Tufts and Berkeley. At eBay, he developed the original computer code to allow direct person-to-person transactions.

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He created the auction-friendly software when he was 28. Omidyar was chairman of eBay from 1998 to 2015. Through the company, he also owns 6% of PayPal. He is a technology entrepreneur and a software engineer. Recently, he is in the news media business with First Look Media. Omidyar is worth $22.4 billion, making him the 24th-richest person in the world.

Gary Tharaldson

North Dakota

The richest person in North Dakota is Gary Tharaldson. He is also the state’s first billionaire with a $1 billion net worth. Tharaldson made his money in the hotel industry by buying up properties.

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The self-made businessman was a high school P.E. teacher when he first began buying hotels. A Super 8 motel in North Dakota was Tharaldson’s first purchase. He acquired 350 hotel properties. He sold 130 of them to Goldman Sachs for $1.2 billion in 2006.

Andrea Reimann-Ciardelli

New Hampshire

Andrea Reimann-Ciardelli is New Hampshire’s richest resident. She doesn’t quite break the billion-dollar mark, but she does have a $720 million fortune. The German-born American is heiress to German chemist Ludwig Reimann and JAB Holding Company.

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She sold her 11.1% stake in German conglomerate company JAB in 2003 for $1 billion to other family members. The conglomerate owns international brands in beauty, home products, and hygiene.

David Rich


While he isn’t the absolute richest guy in Mississippi, (that title goes to James and Thomas Duff) David Rich’s definitely had to go into our list simply because of his name. This American billionaire is now worth $1.5 billion.

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He was born into good fortune (and a name that left him no other choice) brought on by his father, Robert, who built a packaged food empire, mostly centering around non-dairy foods and desserts. No doubt, the rise in veganism in recent years has only contributed to his immense wealth.

Gayle Benson


Gayle Benson has a $3.4 billion net worth. She is a businesswoman and sports franchise owner. Benson is the only woman who is a majority shareholder in both the N.F.L. and the N.B.A. She is the owner of the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans.

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She won a full stake in the franchises after the death of her husband Tom Benson. Benson is a practicing Catholic and was awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012. She founded a thoroughbred racehorse company in 2014.

Gail Miller


Gail Miller and her late husband Larry Miller built a car dealership empire out of a single Toyota dealership. Now the Larry H. Miller Management Corporation operates 64 dealerships with an estimated $5.4 billion in sales.

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The couple bought the Utah Jazz in 1986 for $22 million. The family sold it in 2020 for $1.66 billion, a considerable profit. Gail serves as chairman of the board.

Leonard Hyde and Jonathan Rubini


Leonard Hyde and Jonathan Rubini are joint owners of the commercial real estate development company J.L. Properties. The immense commercial development venture encompasses half of the development properties in Anchorage, Alaska, the state’s largest city.

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They own the ConocoPhillips Towers and the J.L. Tower. The real estate mavens amassed their fortune by buying up property during economic downturns. Together, they hold $600 million.

Robert Gore and Elizabeth Snyder


This brother and sister team runs W.L. Gore & Associates. It originated as a family-run business founded in Newark, Delaware, by the sibling’s parents, Wilbert and Genevieve Gore, in 1958.

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Profits went through the roof after Robert Gore, who studied as a chemical engineer, went on to invent the outdoors wear miracle fabric known as “Gore-Tex.” It is lightweight and waterproof. The company generates $3.2 billion annually in sales.

Ernest Garcia, II


Ernest Garcia, II owns DriveTime Automotive and is the top shareholder of Carvana, an online car buying and financing platform. This automotive entrepreneur has accumulated a $5.6 billion net worth.

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His son, Ernest Garcia, III founded Carvana as a subsidiary of DriveTime Automotive, a company that was offered as an IPO in 2017. DriveTime is the fourth-largest used car retailer in the nation.

Ken Griffin


Ken Griffin is the founder and C.E.O. of Citadel. The company is a Chicago-based hedge fund worth approximately $34 billion in assets. Griffin launched Citadel from his Harvard dorm in 1987.

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He is also the main founder behind the big conglomerate, Citadel Securities, which is one of Wall Street’s biggest trading companies involved in one out of the top five stock trades in the U.S. With a net worth of $16.1 billion, Griffin is easily the richest person in Illinois. The wealthy financier has donated over $1 billion to charity.

Jeff Bezos


Jeff Bezos is the richest person of any state, but he happens to reside in Washington. He’s also one of the richest people in the world; even after transferring a quarter of his wealth to his ex-wife following their divorce. Today, he holds a whopping $188.9 billion. He is the mastermind behind Amazon, the online bookstore he put together from scratch out of the garage of his Seattle home in 1994.

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The enormous company brought in a mind-boggling $386.1 billion in a single year in 2019. Jeff also owns The Washington Post and Blue Origin, an aerospace company. He recently announced he will step down as C.E.O. of Amazon to focus on those other companies.

Ted Lerner


Ted Lerner is a real estate tycoon. He owns Lerner Enterprises, one of the largest real estate companies in the Washington D.C. area. Lerner started his business with a $250 loan from his wife in 1952. He was 26, he then became a builder.

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In 2006, Lerner purchased the Washington Nationals M.L.B. team. In 2018 his son Mark took over the franchise.

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