Who got richer than anyone else in 2013?

The CEO of Las Vegas Sands grew his wealth by a staggering $41 million a day.

By Forbes Digital Dec 23, 2013 1:37PM
Credit: © Taylor Hill/WireImage/Getty Images

Caption: Sheldon AdelsonBy Luisa Kroll, Forbes Staff

Las Vegas Sands (LVS) chief exec Sheldon Adelson (pictured) hit the jackpot in 2013.

The gambling tycoon's net worth soared $15 billion, or 68%, through Friday. He is now worth just over $37 billion, and he's climbed from the nation's 11th richest this fall to No. 5 at the moment.

Put another way, his fortune grew by a staggering $41 million a day.

Adelson added more to his fortune than any other person, thanks largely to the success of his casinos in Macau and Singapore, which led to stellar financial results. Not even canceling plans to open a Sands casino in Madrid could dampen his year.

The second biggest gainer, in dollar terms, was Facebook's (FB) Mark Zuckerberg. Shares of the social network shot past its 2012 IPO price for the first time in July and the firm joined the S&P 500 on Friday.  

Still not 30 years old, Zuckerberg is worth nearly $26 billion, more than double what he was worth a year ago. That means that in percentage terms, he actually beat out Adelson (though Ubiquiti Networks' (UBNT) Robert Pera has bragging rights as the American billionaire with biggest percentage gain in 2013, up 200%).

Amazon (AMZN) chief Jeff Bezos, whose fortune has more than doubled in the past two years, also had a stellar year, adding $13.3 billion, or 53 times the sum he paid for The Washington Post in August.

The full list of the top 10 biggest dollar gainers in the U.S., measured from Dec. 31, 2012 through Dec. 20, 2013, is listed below.

2013 biggest gainers in dollar terms

1. Sheldon Adelson
Net worth: $37.2 billion
Up: $15 billion (+68%)

2. Mark Zuckerberg
Net worth: $25.8 billion
Up: $13.6 billion (+112%)

3. Jeff Bezos
Net worth: $36.9 billion
Up: $13.3 billion (+56%)

4. Warren Buffett
Net worth: $60 billion
Up: $12.1 billion, (+25%)

5. Christy Walton
Net worth: $37.5 billion
Up: $10.7 billion (+ 40%)

6. S. Robson Walton
Net worth: $35 billion
Up: $10.1 billion (+ 41%)

7. Alice Walton
Net worth: $35 billion
Up: $10.1 billion (+ 40%)

8. Jim Walton
Net worth: $35.5 billion
Up:  $10 billion (+ 39%)

9. Larry Page
Net worth: $30.5 billion
Up: $9.4 billion (+ 26%)

10. Bill Gates
Net worth: $74.1 billion
Up:  $9.3 billion (+ 14%)

Thanks to Scott DeCarlo for building and maintaining our insider database screen and for putting together this year-end scorecard. Please note: Members of the Walton family got a one-time boost from a year ago due to a change in control of the shares held by their late mother's trust.

More on Forbes
Dec 23, 2013 2:22PM
The Waltons are worth over $140 Billion dollars with a 40% increase in their wealth in 2013 while many in th US suffered.  Why are they so greedy and fail to pay a living wage to their employees?  Under paid, bad or no benefits, part time work.  When people are hired there, some receive information from Walmart which states they might qualify for some type of welfare benefits.  I call this "CORPORATE WELFARE" from the US government to the Walton family.  You and I are paying for this out of our hard earned tax dollars.  So Waltons - how about you quit being Scrooge and taking even more from others?  By Paying your employees a living wage and decent beneftis with a full time job.
Dec 23, 2013 4:14PM
And how many employees of Wal-Mart saw a 40% increase in their net worth this year?????
Dec 23, 2013 4:48PM
Waltons are the poster child for Greed in this country.  Worth billions yet you can't give the people who make you those billions a decent paycheck and medical/dental/vision benefits!!??? Sickening, I don't shop at Walmart, EVER.
Dec 23, 2013 4:35PM
So Adelson made $15 billion last year... how many jobs did he create?
Dec 23, 2013 2:49PM
You have to wonder how many of their employees are working for entitlement wages, in other words I wonder how many of their employees and how much of the employees income we the taxpayer are paying for?
Dec 23, 2013 6:51PM

Former president Clinton helped the waltons destroy THE UNITED STATES WITH NAFTA.Don't only blame the Waltons.Look at the big picture.Republicans are just as bad too.....they're both in cahoots with each other.All they want is to get re-elected to their positions of power and their do-nothing gubberment positions.

Dec 23, 2013 7:19PM
Tax breaks to the RICH! Middle Class keep paying for everything.
Dec 23, 2013 6:53PM
A handful of  people having the majority of the wealth in the world does not advance the human race any more than a brain dead professional athlete making 10's or even 100's of millions playing a little boys game well.

The Wright brothers were not wealthy by the standards of these billionaires.
Yet they advanced the human race exponentially more than all those billionaires on the list put together.

Dec 23, 2013 3:07PM
Buffett, champion of bailout, is also leading beneficiary McClatchy

Just search it and read folks, all you need to know about the number one government welfare recipient. 
Dec 23, 2013 6:44PM
I love reading about how rich people are when most of us live paycheck to paycheck! Thanks for sharing MSN!
Dec 23, 2013 4:24PM

adelson guy was shuttling mit Romney back and forth to Israel last year.

thw Walton family made 5x as much for chines companies sucking away

the poor American ppl. by selling them cheap crap at walmart/china mart

Dec 23, 2013 4:33PM
It certainly doesn't appear he has wasted any of those profits for cosmetic surgery...
Dec 23, 2013 6:55PM
A person, with a billion or more in the bank but is dying of cancer is a poor man with a billion dollars in the bank. I got my health and a few bucks and peace in my soul, and I am a very, very wealthy man. The fact remains, walton, gates, adelson whoever, will soon pass on, and in all my years I have never seen a hearse with a u-haul behind it. Wealth is being whole in your health, soul, relaitonships and how you choose to love.  Written by a very healthy, wealthy, 71 year old.  Smile, Merry Christmas, just remember its Jesus Christ birhtday, not Sam Waltons or others. Let these gentlemen, write a book that was on the new york times best seller  list 1800 years before manhatten was a cow pasture. Beat that entrepreneurs. 
Dec 23, 2013 5:22PM

Well that's just SUPER!  

It is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into Heaven.

So good luck with that riches thing!!!!

Dec 23, 2013 4:38PM
you gotta be kidding me. does anybody really think these people have more money than the queen of england? or the DuPonts? Or the Morgans? etc. Really? they are the richest who keep their money under their own name, the foundation families make these people look like panhandlers. Just another article to keep you from understanding real wealth.
Dec 23, 2013 4:23PM
And some of the billionaires hate President Obama because of....
Dec 23, 2013 6:25PM
Dec 23, 2013 7:35PM
We need to change the tax codes and end Corporate Welfare!!!!! Close all the loopholes and close off shore tax havens. Avoiding taxes is Treason in my book.
Dec 23, 2013 4:58PM

Do they legally pay taxes or use loopholes? Eat poor people wealth. Cheaters




Dec 23, 2013 5:04PM

I heard that the homeless center where ABS stays lost power and he`s in the dark.I wish him

well.I hope his Congressman,Charlie Rangel finds him a slum apartment for the new year.

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