Top 5 Myths About Bill Gates


Bill Gates Dropped a $1,000 Bill and Just Shrugged

Money flying out the window
Is Bill Gates so rich that he'd let money just fly out the window?
Hiroshi Watanabe/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Bill Gates' wealth is estimated at around $40 billion [source: Forbes]. Perhaps it's no surprise that many Gates myths center on his piles of cash. One prevalent Internet tale seems to say that Gates is so rich he'd literally throw his money to the wind.

In one version of this story, Gates was on a city street corner when he accidentally dropped a $1,000 bill. A helpful passerby alerted Gates to the Grover Cleveland note floating on the breeze, but Gates, apparently indifferent to the loss of this relatively small bit of cash, simply walked away.

As it turns out, though, this particular story is false. And if Gates ever were to casually dismiss $1,000, no one has stepped up with evidence to verify such a thing.

The story is even more unlikely because the U.S. Treasury stopped circulating $1,000 bills -- and other large-denomination bills -- in 1969, due to their lack of use [source: U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing].