Sunday, March 1, 2009

Trillion Dollar Question

Every time I open the newspaper or turn on the TV, there's another story about massive amounts of money. Last week President Obama proposed a budget for fiscal year 2010 of nearly nearly $3.6 trillion.

I know a trillion is a huge number, but just how huge? Today I did some research to try to get my mind around how big a trillion is.
  • According to the orders of magnitude, a trillion is 1012, or 10 with 12 zeroes after it
  • It's a million millions
  • The MegaPenny Project made a cube of pennies (but had to use 1,000,000,016,640 to even things out). The cube measures 273 x 273 x 273 feet, and weighs 3,125,000 tons
  • One trillion dollars could buy every person living in America 1,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies (I'd go for the Thin Mints!)
  • A trillion seconds is 32,000 years
  • One trillion dollar bills stacked one on top of the other would reach almost 68,000 miles into the sky, or about a third of the way from the Earth to the moon
  • If you were given one dollar every second, it would take 317 centuries (31,700 years) to reach one trillion
  • One trillion ounces is 83 million cans of soda


  1. On The Daily Show they showed some politician talking about how much money the stimulus was equal to...his examples weren't as good as yours!

  2. I loved this. It was so refreshing to see something non-political follow a reference to the stimulus plan, rather than some rant either for or against.

  3. Christy-thank you! I'm trying to keep this blog non-political.

    When I was researching this post, I was amazed how many Websites there were that just copied and pasted the exact same information.