3 Things We Learned From The New List Of Richest People In Each State

Earlier today, Parade Magazine published a state-by-state breakdown of the wealthiest individuals in the U.S., and while there are a number of non-shockers (Bill Gates is rich? Shut the front door!), there were several fascinating takeaways from the list.

You can see the whole breakdown on Parade.com if you want to know which house in your state to hit up when you go trick-or-treating tomorrow, but here are some things we learned while perusing the information…

1. You don’t have to be a billionaire to make the list
Yes, the list is dominated by billionaires, but there are several states where the wealthiest person is worth a paltry few hundred million.

In fact, there are nine states — Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming — in which the wealthiest person is not a billionaire. Some, like L.L. Bean chairman Leon Gorman of Maine, and hotel group operator Gary Tharaldson of North Dakota, are almost there, worth $800 million and $900 million, respectively.

2. Some insanely wealthy people don’t flock to the coasts
It’s not surprising that states like California, New York, Virginia, and Massachusetts not only have billionaires living there, but that the wealthiest individuals in each of those states would be a double-digit billionaire. But there are plenty of heartland states claiming insanely rich residents.

First and foremost is Warren Buffett, who earns a 1% royalty from every restaurant buffet in the world the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, who calls Nebraska home and who Parade estimates is worth $59.8 billion.

Then there’s David Koch, one half of the not-terribly-beloved Koch Brothers (their stand-up routine is pure hack work, though the Dueling Banjos bit is top-notch) and executive vice president of Koch Industries. Parade has D-Koch and his $41.5 billion located in Kansas, though Forbes previously listed him as the wealthiest person in New York. With that much money, you can call anywhere home.

And of course there’s James Walton, chairman and CEO of Arvest Bank. How does the head of a regional bank in Arkansas amass an estimated $31.7 billion? It helps that he’s the son of Sam Walton, founder of a small retail chain called Walmart.

3. There’s money in more than technology and finance
Many of the individuals on the Parade list are employed by or run financial and technology businesses, but there are several astoundingly wealthy people from industries you might not have expected.

Like Kenneth Dart, the chairman of Dart Container Corp. All those to-go trays, coffee cups, and bags have resulted in his being named the wealthiest person in Michigan, worth an estimated $6.6 billion.

People need tires, and they like to buy things at a discount. That combination has helped Arizona’s Bruce Halle Sr., chairman of Discount Tire Co., rack up $4.4 billion in personal wealth.

And while Starbucks makes most of the coffee headlines, Green Mountain Coffee founder Robert Stiller probably doesn’t mind that he’s now worth $1.1 billion, making him the greenest dude in Vermont.