Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has become the world’s newest and only $100bn billionaire – thanks to a $2.4bn surge in his personal fortune on the run up to Black Friday.
His wealth shot into newfound stratospheres after share prices for the online retailer soared by 2pc on the back of optimism that the company’s value would grow during the spending bonanza.
It came as sales over the internet overall shot up by nearly a fifth (18.4%) on the day - as shoppers snapped up bargains - compared to the same 24-hour period last year, figures show.
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The hike in Mr Bezos’s wealth had soared by $32.6bn this year up until Thursday, with the extra $2.4bn landing in his pocket ahead of the consumer frenzy, and secures his position as the world's richest man.
He is trailed by Bill Gates - who saw his fortune reach above $100bn in 1996, the first in the world - when the value of Microsoft surged on Wall Street.
His current wealth is estimated at $86.8bn, but analysts say he would be worth $150bn had he not given away some 700 million in shares in Microsoft and $2.9bn to charity after re-inventing himself as a philanthropist.
But Mr Bezos has to date has not given away any of his wealth, but in June he tweeted that he wanted the help people with his fortune and was looking for ideas for how to share it.
He wrote: “I’m thinking I want much of my philanthropic activity to be helping people in the here and now — short term — at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact.”
His post to his followers of more than 220,000 quickly turned up more than 22,000 likes and almost 50,000 comments with suggestions as to how Mr Bezos could make a difference.
To date the Amazon founder has not revealed if he has shared any of his fortune.
Mr Bezos started Amazon in his basement in Seattle 22 years ago, after he quit his job as a hedge fund manager in New York.
The company is currently one of world’s leading online retailers, and in April of this year was valued at $430bn, according to CNN.