Everyone has dreams of getting rich. Whether it’s through the scratch-off ticket, you buy every weekend hoping it’s a winner or that six-figure salary you’ve got your eye on as you work your way up the corporate ladder, most of us have limited paths to take if we want to make it big time, financially speaking.
However, there are those among us who have reached the pinnacle of monetary success—and have done so at such a young age. There are literal billionaires out there who reached that status before turning the ripe old age of 40.
Earlier this year, Forbes unleashed its annual World’s Billionaires List, which ranks all of the different rich people of the world. On it, there are 2,095 American billionaires who, when tallied up, are worth a total of $8 trillion. That number might seem astronomical, but it’s actually $700 billion less than the total in 2019.
While peeking into the lives of any rich person is enviously interesting, it’s the young billionaires that really pique our interest. There are 15 American billionaires on the list worth a collective amount of over $100 billion if you can believe it. And with those high numbers comes a few questions.
How did they earn their fortune? Did they inherit it, or are they self-made? And—perhaps the most interesting angle of all—what do they spend all of this money on anyway?
In this roundup of the 15 youngest billionaires in America right now, we aim to answer that question and more.
15. Brian Armstrong: Co-founder and CEO of Coinbase
The 37-year-old CEO and co-founder of a cryptocurrency exchange company named Coinbase ranks as the No. 15 youngest billionaire in America. Armstrong’s net worth is valued at $1 billion and the company and app he launched in 2012 is valued at $8 billion. Currently, Armstrong serves as the chief executive of San Francisco-based Coinbase, which is the largest cryptocurrency exchange currently in the United States.
Even though Bitcoin saw a sharp decline in 2018, Coinbase continued to grow, as did Armstrong’s bank account. To date, Coinbase operates fiat currencies in 32 countries and bitcoin transactions in 190 countries.
Armstrong originally began as an engineer for Airbnb before starting Coinbase. Since earning his fortune, he has managed to stay out of the public eye.
14. Drew Houston: Co-founder and CEO of Dropbox
The 37-year-old CEO and co-founder of Dropbox is worth a reported $1.7 billion, putting him at No. 14 on the list. Drew Houston started the online file storage and virtual workplace company back in 2007. He was 24 at the time.
Even though Dropbox went public in 2018, the American internet entrepreneur still stays involved and maintains 20% of the company. He is Dropbox’s largest individual shareholder.
13. Lynsi Snyder: In-N-Out Burger Owner and Heiress
Another 37-year-old, Lynsi Lavelle Snyder-Ellingson has the tastiest job on this list thus far. As the heiress to the infamous West Coast fast-food chain restaurant, Synder is worth a reported $3.6 billion.
Synder’s grandparents originally founded the restaurant, and her father and uncle were originally next in line. Tragically, they both passed away, leaving Synder—the only grandchild—to become the last family heir when she was only 18. She received her full inheritance on her 35th birthday. In 2012, she was reported as the youngest female billionaire.
She stepped up as the sixth president of the company in 2010 at the young age of 27 and was reportedly a favorite among employees. A 2018 report from Business Insider showed that she had a 96% approval rating on the company-rating site, Glassdoor.
Synder is reportedly “media-shy” and rarely gives interviews. In one of the few that she did give, she told reporters that she had been the target of not one, but two kidnapping attempts and that staying out of the public was for her own safety.
12. Scott Duncan: Heir to Enterprise Products Partners
We’ve arrived to the second of many heirs on our list: 36-year-old Scott Duncan. As the heir to the pipeline firm started by his father, Dan Duncan, Scott has a reported net worth of $5.4 billion. He and his three older siblings inherited a stake in the company, called Enterprise Products Partners, in 2010.
Enterprise Products Partners owns multiple natural gas processing plants, oil and gas pipelines, and oil and gas storage facilities around the country. As Scott’s net worth reveals, the Duncans are one of the richest families in America. In 2018, it was reported that they were collectively worth $24.8 billion.
11. RJ Scaringe: Founder of Rivian Automotive
The 36-year-old founder of Rivian Automotive, an electric car manufacturing company, is worth a nice $1 billion. RJ Scaringe started the company back in 2009 but didn’t debut his first car until 2019. Even though the cars are newer, they’re nice enough to almost put him in the top 10 of youngest and richest. More models of Rivian Automotive are expected to be released in 2020.
Rivian Automotive’s cars are a mix of luxurious and rugged. His first two models were an SUV and a pickup truck. In addition to making new electric cars, Scaringe also hopes to restore an old farm that’s near his company’s assembly plant in Illinois so he can provide fresh food for his employees and co-workers.
10. Kevin Systrom: Co-founder of Instagram
Social media is where it’s at in terms of young billionaires. The 36-year-old co-founder of the photo-sharing-app-turned-massive-platform is worth $1.9 billion.
Kevin Systrom founded the app with Mike Krieger back in 2010. When only two years later, they were bought by Facebook for $1 billion, he owned about 40% of the company. He continued to run things as Instagram’s CEO for a few years until he stepped down in 2018. Under his leadership, the app grew to roughly 1 billion monthly users.
While it’s not clear what’s next for this billionaire, reports say he enjoys golfing, skiing, and fine food—so he might not be coming back to work anytime soon.
9. Nathan Blecharczyk: Airbnb’s Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer
It’s weird to think about a world without Airbnb, but it did exist. Thanks to 36-year-old Nathan Blecharczyk, travelers from around the world get to enjoy a fun and unique alternative to traditional hotel accommodations. And Blecharczyk gets to enjoy a net worth of $10.3 billion.
He started the company back in 2008 with Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia as their first engineer. Today, you can find Airbnbs in over 100,000 cities in 191 countries and there are over seven million active listings.
8. Chris Wanstrath: Co-founder of GitHub
Since starting the software company Github back in 2008, Wanstrath has risen to the status of billionaire. The 35-year-old is currently worth $2.1 billion.
While he ran things on his own for many years, it wasn’t long before a major corporation wanted to buy-in. Microsoft purchased Github in 2018 in an all-stock deal for a total of $7.5 billion. Wanstrath was the largest individual shareholder at the time, but Forbes reported that he now works as a “technical fellow” for Microsoft.
7. Dustin Moskovitz: Co-founder Facebook and Asana
Now we’re starting to get to some crazy-high numbers, so prepare yourself. This 35-year-old tech whiz is worth a whopping $16.8 billion. That’s just what happens when you create not one, but two game-changing tech companies.
Dustin Moskovitz was in the trenches with fellow billionaire Mark Zuckerberg back in 2004 when they co-founded the mega social media platform Facebook together. He left Zuckerbug to his own devices in 2008 and decided to launch his own company, a workflow software called Asana. Seems like it was a good career movie considering that Asana earned $100 million in revenue in 2018. But Moskovitz hasn’t cut ties with Facebook entirely. He still owns a 2% stock in the company.
He joins the ranks of other successful tech moguls who never graduated from college. Like Zuckerberg, Moskovitz dropped out of Harvard to work on Facebook. He’s also a very charitable billionaire who’s given a reported $1.4 billion away. Part of that was in the charity he started with his wife called Good Ventures, which provides financial aid to help eradicate malaria.
In 2011, he was named the youngest self-made billionaire in history by Forbes.
6. Mark Zuckerberg: Co-founder and CEO of Facebook
It wouldn’t be a list of young billionaires without Mark Zuckerburg, wouldn’t it? The 35-year-old co-founder of Facebook is worth a reported $100.5 billion. Yep, you read that number right.
He and Dustin Moskovitz started the social media platform while attending Harvard in 2004. Zuckerburg took the company public in 2012 and still owns about 15% of the stock. He’s also made a pledge to be more charitable, and in 2015, he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, said they would both donate 99 percent of their stake in Facebook throughout their entire lives.
5. Julio Mario Santo Domingo III: Heir to one of the world’s biggest beer fortunes
It pays to party—or at least grow up in a family that does. At just 34 years old, Julio Mario Santo Domingo III is worth $1.6 billion thanks to his late grandfather’s sound financial choices.
Santo Domingo is the heir to a massive fortune because his late grandfather owned a large stake in the beer company SABMiller. His brewer, Bavaria, acquired it back then, and in 2016, Anheuser-Bush InBev purchased it for $100 billion. In addition to being the heir to a billion-dollar company, Santo Domingo does what many rich people do: he DJs. Currently, he performs with Sheik ‘N’ Beik, a DJ group based in New York City.
4. Lukas Walton: Heir to the Walmart fortune
With the sheer amount of Walmarts located around the country, it’s no wonder that the 33-year-old grandson of the founder is worth $17.1 billion. Sam Walton founded Walmart way back in 1962, and when his son, John Walton, tragically died in a plane crash, his grandson Lukas became next in line, inheriting one-third of his father’s estate.
At this time, Lukas does own stock in Walmart, but he doesn’t have a working role in the company. Instead, he spends his time working on philanthropic causes that are close to his heart. Unsurprisingly, the Waltons hold the title of the richest family in the U.S. In fact, there are not one, but three of his relatives on the list for the world’s 15 wealthiest billionaires.
He almost didn’t live to see his fortune. At the age of 3, he was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer. Thankfully, he recovered, which his mother attributes to a plant-based remedy she made from her garden. Today, he’s a fairly private person who doesn’t get out much in the public eye.
3. Bobby Murphy: Snapchat’s Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer
Another social media mogul makes the list. Bobby Murphy may only be 31 years old, but he’s already built a massive company that’s earned him the title of billionaire. As the co-founder of Snapchat, he’s worth a reported $11 billion.
Murphy founded Snapchat with Evan Spiegel in 2011. The two were fraternity brothers at Stanford University. The app quickly rose to popularity, especially among high school and college students, and in 2019, it was worth just under $8 billion. Murphy works as the company’s chief technology officer and reportedly keeps a very low profile.
2. Evan Spiegel: Co-founder and CEO of Snapchat
It’s no surprise that the other founder of Snapchat makes the list. The 29-year-old CEO of the popular multimedia messaging app is worth $10.3 billion, just like his co-founder Bobby Murphy.
Both Murphy and Evan Spiegel own 18% of Snapchat, but they also each have voting shares that allow them to have control over their board. Like many other social media moguls on this list, Spiegel is self-made. But unlike them, he is only one of three self-made billionaires who made their fortune before the age of 30.
And it’s worked out well for Spiegel so far. He’s reportedly donated about $65 million in Snapchat stock, and he’s currently married to Miranda Kerr, a supermodel, and they have two children together. Today, Snapchat has about 229 million daily users.
1. Kylie Jenner: Founder of Kylie Cosmetics
Kylie Jenner is the only other woman on the list, but at least she ranks No. 1 as America’s youngest billionaire. The former reality TV star and founder of a wildly successful beauty line, the 22-year-old is worth $1 billion.
Jenner launched Kylie Cosmetics in 2015, and in just four years, she was on the Forbes list of billionaires. While she used to own the business entirely, she sold a 51% stake in her company to Coty Inc. (a beauty conglomerate) for $600 million in 2019. At that time, Kylie Cosmetics was valued at $1.2 billion.