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This is a United States one-dollar bill It’s just over a tenth of a millimetre thick So, what if you had a million of them? One million US dollars stacked up into the sky? How tall would that stack be? Well, I mean, first of all, it would fall over So let’s say instead that you put that stack on its side One after the other after the other, lined up Not edge to edge, but just stacked up How long would that stack be? Well, it’d be about the length of a US football field or a UK football pitch So, that’s the distance that I’m gonna walk, right now And as we go, have a think about just how much money that is We passed $10,000 within my first couple of steps back there, and that’s more money than the average annual wage in a lot of the world Now, there’s a money clock on-screen, tied to the GPS in this camera, so the numbers should be about right as we go A lot of folks have created visualisations of the difference between a million and a billion Humphrey Yang on TikTok did a great one with grains of rice, and Wren at Corridor Digital did this spectacular visual effects demonstration but where I think those visualisations fall down is that they rely on volume They rely on three-dimensional stuff, and that’s just not something that the human brain is particularly good at It’s just not intuitive that if you multiply the height, width, and depth of a cube by ten, then the volume increases by a thousand Yes, mathematically obvious if you know the formula, but intuitively, it’s just not that easy to actually understand If you really want to understand the difference between a million and a billion, then you need something one-dimensional You need distance So, I am gonna drive the length of one billion dollars It doesn’t feel like it should take that long, right? After all, I walked to a million dollars in a minute or so How long could it take to get to a billion when you’ve got a car and some fast roads? Okay. Dashcam in Seatbelt on Let’s drive to a billion dollars Oops Head east towards Cook Road Head west towards Cook Road Turn left onto Cook Road In a quarter of a mile, turn right onto Ripple Road Turn right onto Ripple Road, A1306 and use the left lane to take the A13 slip road Use the left lane to take the A13 slip road

Continue on A13 for six miles In a quarter of a mile, use the second from the left lane

to take the M25 slip road to M11, M1 Use the second from the left lane to take the M25 slip road, then use the right lane to keep right Use the right lane to keep right In 400 feet, at Mar Dyke Interchange, take the third exit Exit the roundabout In half a mile, continue onto A282 Continue onto A282 for five miles

In a quarter of a mile, use the second from the left lane

to take the A2 slip road to M2, Canterbury Use the second from the left lane to take the A2 slip road Continue onto A2 for half a mile In a quarter of a mile, keep right at the fork Keep right at the fork Continue on A2 for 34 miles In a quarter of a mile, continue onto Thanet Way

Continue on Thanet Way for 16 miles

In half a mile, at St Nicholas Roundabout,

take the second exit onto Canterbury Road/A28

Exit the roundabout onto Canterbury Road

Continue on Canterbury Road for two miles

In 1000 feet, at the roundabout, take the second exit

and stay on Canterbury Road, A28

In a quarter of a mile, turn left onto Domneva Road

Turn left onto Domneva Road

In 1000 feet, turn right onto Westgate Bay Avenue Turn right

Continue straight In 1000 feet, turn left onto Old Boundary Road Turn left onto Old Boundary Road, then your destination will be on the left Your destination is on the left Ten thousand dollars, the sort of money that’s more than the average annual wage in a lot of the world That was a couple of steps A million dollars, life-changing sums of money for almost everyone, except a lucky few Well, that took a minute to walk But a billion? Well, that takes more than an hour to drive And what if you wanted to go to a trillion? If you wanted to go to a trillion dollars, well then, the distance of that would take a 787 — at cruising speed — five days The words may sound very similar but that’s the difference between a million, a billion, and a trillion

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