Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's giveaway: What does $32B get you?

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced this week he would be donating all of his wealth — that's $32 billion — to philanthropic causes. But what else could a Saudi prince buy with all that coin?

The money is supposed to go to philanthropy, but suppose he goes on a Canadian shopping spree?

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has said he will donate his $32 billion fortune to charity. (Neil Hall/Reuters)

Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced this week he would be donating all of his wealth — that's $32 billion — to philanthropic causes.

The money will be going to his Alwaleed Philanthropies foundation, which, according to its website, supports "eradication of diseases, provision of electric power to remote villages and hamlets, building orphanages and schools, providing disaster relief and empowering women, youth and poverty alleviation."

"With this pledge, I am honouring my life-long commitment to what matters most — helping to build a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable world for generations to come," the wealthy prince said in a statement.

But let's say Alwaleed decided to focus that money in other areas, what could a Saudi prince buy with all that coin? In other words, what does $32 billion get you these days?

Luxury items

If you're rich, you need a nice car. But if you're $32-billion rich, you can afford the nicest and the most expensive.

That honour seems to go to the Lamborghini Veneno roadster with an estimated price tag of $4.5 million. So Alwaleed could either buy one or two and have a lot of money left over. Or he could choose a small community, let's say the town of Aylmer, Ont., and buy each of the 7,000 residents a fancy new speedster.

Alwaleed would have no problem buying the most expensive places in the world, but If he really wanted nice new digs, he could see if Buckingham Palace was up for sale,  In fact the Queen's home, valued at around $5 billion, could be purchased about six times over. 

But if Alwaleed was feeling generous, particularly toward Canadians, he could buy a $440,000 home, the estimated average price for a house in Canada, for, say, almost all the residents of Prince George, B.C. 

Sporting teams, events

Alwaleed almost has enough to buy all the NBA teams (valued at $33 billion, according to Forbes) and, if he was able to scrounge up another $4 billion, could buy all the Major League Baseball teams ($36 billion).

Alwaleed could purchase all the NHL franchises ($14 billion according to Forbes) two times over, or buy the $1.3 billion valued Toronto Maple Leafs 24 times over.

Although Alwaleed would have no problem purchasing an NFL team, he's much too poor to acquire the whole league, currently valued, according to Forbes, at $45 billion

But he could still buy the top five most valuable teams — the Dallas Cowboys ($3.2 billion), New England Patriots ($2.6 billion), Washington Redskins ($2.4 billion), New York Giants ($2.1 billion), Houston Texans (1.85 billion) — and have $20 billion left over to play with.

That would leave him enough to pick up the tab for the Summer Olympics in Rio next year, estimated at $12 billion. Even with the predicted cost overruns, Alwaleed should have no problem covering the costs.

Buying the world a Coke, or Canadians a coffee

Back in 1971, Coca Cola came out with the now classic commercial I'd Like To Buy the World a Coke. Well, Alwaleed could.

Pegging the price at about $1.00 a can, the Saudi Prince could buy about 4.5 Cokes for every person in the world. 

For Canadians, who may be more partial to a medium double-double at Tim Horton's, he could buy about 526 coffees for the entire population. That would be enough so each Canadian could have a coffee a day for the next year and a half. 

But if you have the dough, why not just buy the doughnut company itself. Alaweed could pick up Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of Tim Horton's, valued around $12.4 billion, and, while in the neighbourhood, scoop up Canadian Tire ($9.7 billion) and Dollarama ($9.7 billion) along the way.

Countries and provinces economies

Alas, even this Saudi prince could barely make a dent in Greece's overall debt ($262 billion),  though the $3.8 billion debt payment owed by the cash-strapped country in July could easily be covered.

In fact, Alwaleed's stash matches the economies of a number of countries. Like, for example, Latvia (GDP $31.9 billion), Paraguay ($30.9 billion) and Zambia ($27 billion). 

It's the equivalent of the annual economy of New Brunswick, $31.9 billion, possibly with P.E.I ($5.7 billion) thrown in, depending on how the lower Canadian dollar is doing on any given day. 


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