So how big is a billion, actually?
We throw the number around pretty loosely these days.
A billion is a very big number: 1,000,000,000. Lots of zeros. The eyes glaze over. We cant wrap our brain around it.
But money we understand. Count it out in dollar bills and it feels more real.
So hold a U.S. one-dollar bill in your hand.
Its 6.14 inches long, 2.61 inches wide. Its 0.0043 inches thick, which means 232 bills make a one-inch stack.
Prefer some heft? A bill weighs one gram. So there are 454 dollar bills to the pound (or a thousand bills per kilogram).
End-to-end, a billion singles is 2,570 miles long: a green ribbon from New York to Las Vegas, with leftover cut-and-bet strips for the tables.
But I prefer something solid. A billion in dollar bills is a stack 10 feet by 10 feet by 389 and a half feet high. You can try this at home, if you have, ahem, some time. Lay out 20 bills end to end in 46 parallel rows. Thats $920 for the base layer. Lay another $920 on top. Repeat to 389.5 feet. (Yo, guys with micrometers, were visualizing. Yeah, 20 bills measure 10.23 feet. If 10 feet doesnt work for you, do your own math.)