The specifics of how their substantial and varied assets were divided remain hazy.
Bill had a net worth of $146 billion and was the fourth richest person in the world prior to their file. It is therefore not unreasonable to think that this divorce will rank as one of the largest and most-expensive in history.
via Getty Images, LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP
When Melinda started working at Microsoft in the late 1980s, the former couple got acquainted. On the Hawaiian island of Lanai, which is ironically now owned by Gates’ longtime nemesis Larry Ellison, they got married in 1994. With a net worth of $12.9 billion the next year, in 1995, Gates attained the title of world’s richest person for the first time. He basically held that title untouched until 2017 when he was overtaken by Jeff Bezos.
According to the divorce petition, the couple is now divorcing and living separately. They agreed to a contract outlining their financial management strategy while living apart. Although the terms of their separation agreement are not yet known, the divorce petition asks the court to split their assets in accordance with those terms.
Melinda might get almost $70 billion if Bill and Melinda divided their wealth equally. She would then be more affluent than Alice Walton, Julia Fleischer Koch, and MacKenzie Scott. Melinda will surpass Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers to become the second richest woman in the world if she ends up with $70 billion.
Whatever the outcome of the Gates divorce is, it is sure to rank among the biggest divorce settlements of all time. The current top five are shown below in ascending order.
Steve and Elaine Wynn, fourth, received $850 million
Wynn Resorts, a firm that operates casinos and resorts, was founded by Steve and Elaine Wynn. In 2010, they went through their second divorce. Elaine received $11 million in company shares as part of the settlement, which were valued $795 million at the time. Due to the allegations of sexual harassment against him, Steve resigned from his positions as Wynn Resorts’ chairman and CEO in 2018 and sold all of his company stock. The largest individual shareholder in Wynn Resorts at the moment is Elaine Wynn.
#3: $975 million for Harold Hamm and Sue Ann Arnall
The Hamm divorce was a bitter three-year judicial struggle. Oil mogul Hamm and his 26-year-old bride did not have a prenuptial agreement. In 2015, he made an effort to settle things with her by issuing a check for $974,790,317.77. After Sue Ann deposited the check, she made the decision that she needed more cash. In her appeal, she requested a bigger portion of Hamm’s $13.6 billion wealth. The Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected Arnall’s appeal after siding with Hamm. Sue Ann used that money to support a PAC that worked to remove the divorce judge from office. She was prosperous.
First place: $35 billion, Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott
When Jeff and MacKenzie were employees at D.E. Shaw in New York, they became friends. While Jeff worked on the business plan for the company that would become Amazon, MacKenzie drove the pair across the nation to Seattle. She played a crucial role in helping him launch his business. She received a divorce settlement in April 2019 that was equal to 4% of the shares of Amazon that were still in circulation and valued at $35 billion at the time. Scott has a $53 billion net worth after two years.
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