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How Big is a Trillion?

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by airportkid, Jan 27, 2012.

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  1. airportkid

    airportkid Will Fly For Food

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    Let's say you had a stash of crisp, new 100 dollar bills, unwrinkled, so if stacked on the table they'd make a compact brick. Turn the brick on its side as if to file the bills in an index file drawer. Only you've got more 100 dollar bills than will fit into a card file drawer, so you improvise by just setting them between two bookends, increasing the distance between the bookends until you run out of bills. After a few hours of tucking wads of bills into the stack beween bookends, you're long out of the house and onto the sidewalk, the distance beween the bookends having grown to well over a mile.

    More than a mile of 100 dollar bills, compressed between heavy bookends, is a lot of money. But your store of them is not yet exhausted; you keep going, pushing the distance between those bookends further and further apart.

    Finally, at a trillion dollars, 10 billion 100 dollar bills, you stop.

    What would be the cab fare to take you back home to the first bookend? Would you need a bath and a shave?

    The distance between the bookends, if pressed by hydraulic pressure to squeeze out all the air, would be within a few hundred feet of the distance between San Francisco International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, 679 miles great circle distance.

    That's a trillion, a 100 dollars at a time. In one dollar bills you'd be out into space, a quarter of the way to the moon.
    2 people like this.
  2. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    You're just showing off your bank balance again :rolleyes:

    They've told you before, it's not viable to withdraw it all at once! :p
  3. mmcdonal

    mmcdonal Active Member

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    So you're saying you could shrink that down to a more manageable 68 miles or so if they were 1,000 bills? Okay, I'll take that then, and you keep the 100's.
  4. Stev0

    Stev0 Honorary Hong Kong Cavalier

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    I like to explain the lottery like this: The odds are winning the jackpot are one is 175,223,510. Since most people can not grasp such a large number, to put it in words most people can understand, those are the exact same odds as Dane Cook saying something funny.
  5. dabize

    dabize New Member

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    I would have expected you to dismiss this number as only a tenth of a REAL trillion............
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  6. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) Aspiring Hypocommuter.

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    Great.
    Now do that 14 more times, and you'll have our current National Debt. :(

    Trivia Question: What was the USND about eleven hundred days ago?
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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  8. Trebuchet

    Trebuchet Senior Member

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  9. prj

    prj Member

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  10. airportkid

    airportkid Will Fly For Food

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    Just fooling around with random statistics, trying to get a mental grasp of a trillion, reveals this tidbit:

    If you had 1,000,000,000,000 one dollar bills, you could use 928,000,000,000 them to build a full scale SOLID replica of the 37 million cubic foot Empire State Building, and have 72,000,000,000 dollars left over to make a full scale SOLID replica of a 510 foot tall eight times oversize King Kong (not quite half the height of the building) to hang by one arm from its aerial mast.

    A better use of a trillion dollars than other things they've been used for, to be sure. :p
  11. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    If I had a trillion dollars, the last thing I'd do with them is make piles or pack them between bookends.
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