More and more headlines refer to amounts of money in the billions these days and, sadly, this doesn’t actually mean a lot to people; mainly because it’s a big number, and humans don’t cope with them too well. In fairness, the UK used to have a much bigger billion (one with twelve zeros after it), but nowadays we use the puny American billion (one with nine zeros after it). Regardless it’s still a massive amount of money.

Here are some examples of interesting billions:

  • £1 billion

    …is how much you would make if you earned £30,000 a year and worked for the next 33,000 years or so.

  • £1 billion

    …the total cost of building over 20 brand new state-of-the-art hospitals.

  • £9.3 billion

    …conservative estimate of the cost of hosting the London Olympics as of March 2007. many people think that it will be a total disaster and a huge waste of money, but as Armando Ianucci observered “That’s what they said about the Millenium Dome.”
    In retrospect 800,000,000 quid seems like a bargain by comparison.

  • £ 12 billion

    …an amount of money sent by the US to Iraq that got “lost”.

  • £ 12.4 billion

    …how much money the UK government are pissing away already on the disgraceful NHS National Programme for IT.

  • £ 20 billion

    …the cost of updating Britain’s crap Trident nuclear system to ensure an adequate defence against…erm…well…you know…the enemy…and bad men.

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