Attempt to Spend Elon Musk's $160 Billion Wealth With This Online Simulator

Spending Elon Musk's money might sound like an easy—and delightful—task, but an online simulator has demonstrated that it's not so simple.

Forbes estimates Musk's net worth at around $160 billion, making him the third-richest person on the planet as of July 8, behind Amazon executive chairman Jeff Bezos and LVMH chief Bernard Arnault.

Could you fritter away such an enormous sum? An Italian web designer, Nino Trivelli, invites you to try via his shopping simulator "Spend Elon Musk's Fortune."

The rules are somewhat less strict than the challenge set for Richard Pryor in Brewster's Millions, in that you are allowed to accumulate assets, but the amounts involved are astronomical.

The cheapest item on Trivelli's list is a $299 Nintendo Switch; the most expensive is a $3 billion NFL team.

Other options include the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci for an estimated $869 million, a mega-yacht for $300 million or a lifetime of eating out for every meal at $2.4 million.

You can't pay in Musk's beloved Dogecoin, but you do get a printable receipt at the end—in case you want to return anything, obviously.

Trivelli, who made the site to practise his coding and web development skills, said: "Musk has repeatedly said he plans to sell most of his possessions, so I thought it was perfect for this small project."

The Tesla and SpaceX boss told his 57.9 million Twitter followers in June that he had sold his seven properties.

A year earlier, he had tweeted about his intention of "selling almost all physical possessions." He also told Joe Rogan's podcast in May 2020: "I think possessions kind of weigh you down. They're kind of an attack vector, you know?"

Trivelli shared his simulator to the "Internet Is Beautiful" community on Reddit, gaining over 8,000 votes in 12 hours. Users also shared their techniques for blowing billions in the comments.

"It can take hours if you spend it on 'regular' apartments, cars and TVs, which is crazy," said Trivelli.

One Redditor's successful method was to buy, among other treasures, 172 Mona Lisas. How he would do this was not explained.

The simulator isn't entirely accurate, as this example shows and some users have pointed out. If Musk were to liquidate all his wealth, he would be required to pay taxes. Still, technicalities aren't that important when you're trying to choose between buying 10 NBA teams and 30 private islands. (Treat yourself—get both.)

Still of Spend Elon Musk's Fortune
Spend Elon Musk's Fortune Spend Elon Musk's Fortune

Trivelli was inspired by fellow web designer Neal Agarwal, who created a "Spend Bill Gates' Money" simulator, which asked players to spend $100 billion. Gates is worth about $124 billion, according to Forbes, and has donated tens of billions to charity.

Agarwal also created the popular website Ten Years Ago, which lets users browse the internet exactly how it appeared one decade ago, to the day. Speaking to Newsweek in May, he said: "There's been a surprising amount of discussion about old web design, with tons of people saying they liked how the internet used to look. For me, I think the site shows how fast the internet changes—10 years isn't that long but on the internet it's an eternity."

Trivelli acknowledges Agarwal at the bottom of his simulator, writing: "Inspired by neal.fun, created by Nino."

The Italian told Newsweek: "There are some sites that do the same thing—spend X money—but none really captured the dimension of billionaires' wealth. So I made my own. I added percentages, which I think are key to understand the amount spent. And the fact that you have to click each time you want an item—not just putting a number in an input—makes it more enjoyable and rewarding, or maddening.

"The idea was to have fun fantasizing about buying things you dream to have, but also be thought-provoking. How much is too much?"

In June, Musk tweeted that the "only time I sell Tesla stock is when my stock options are expiring and I have no choice." So, the simulator might be as close as even he will get to the real thing.

Elon Musk and Space X logo
Elon Musk, at a Tesla launch on September 29, 2015, in Fremont, California. If you had his billions, what would you do? Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Correction 7/8/21, 1 p.m. ET: This article was updated to state Musk is the world's third-richest person, according to Forbes on July 8.