5

The Wong family are rich. So rich that the bought 1/2 of Mars. They got rich by herding buggalo. Then Mr. Wong decides to build a giant miniature golf course bulldozing 12% of the galaxy. If you add all his corrupt/sleazy transactions to bypass some laws and property, he is very rich.

But how rich? Is there a comparison between his family and another? Can he be considered richer than Mom's corporation?

4

There is never a number (or even a good hint) at how wealthy the family is. But using some basic math and wild assumptions, we can guess as follows:

  1. The Milky Way Galaxy is 100,000 light-years in diameter, and 1,000 ly in height (obviously rounding here).
  2. The volume then would be: 7.85398x10^12 cubic light years.
  3. 12% of that is: 9.4248×10^11 cubic light years.
  4. If we can arrive to some "average worth" per cubic light-year, then we simply multiply that by the above value. So if each cubic lightyear averages to $1, then the Wongs spent $9.4248×10^11 to buy that %12 of the galaxy.
  5. Since the giant mini-golf course seems to be only a small part of their wealth, we can arrive to a better approximation. For example, if it was only 1% of their total wealth, then the family has $9.4248×10^13 (which Wolfram is kind enough to point out is the number of red blood cells we have in our body!).
  • $1 per light year seems vastly inflated, especially given that 99.99999999999% of space is devoid of even dust. – Valorum Sep 23 '14 at 16:05
  • @Valorum - This article suggests that a cubic light year in the Milky Way contains about 40% of the mass of Earth’s sun, on average. $1 per cubic light-year thus seems like a conservative estimate. Of course, outside of the galaxy, the density is much lower. – Adamant Dec 2 '16 at 7:10
  • Frankly, given that this creates an estimate of a mere trillion dollars for owning 12% of an entire galaxy, we might have reason to suspect it. The GDP of our planet alone is many times that range, and a whole galaxy contains inconceivably more raw resources. – Adamant Dec 2 '16 at 7:16
0

Another way to go about calculating it is to note that people live and travel throughout the galaxy in Futurama much as they live and travel around earth today.

So if we consider buying 12% of the galaxy to be roughly equivalent to the cost of buying 12% of the earth then we should get an estimate of what it cost. Various calculations of earths economic value have been proposed, but 5 quadrillion seems to be about right (http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/new-formula-values-earth-at-5000000000000000.html). Using a different criteria, history channel came to a value of 6.8 quadrillion so it seems to be in the right ballpark at least.

Taking 12% of 5 quadrillion gives us 600 trillion dollars, or $6x10^14 which is actually quite close to @Teknophilia's calculation using a completely different mechanism. The confluence makes me think this is strong evidence for their net worth being somewhere in this range.

  • Your figure only accounts for the miniature golf course aspect, whereas Teknophilia accounted for all their wealth. Considered Teknophilia assumed that the miniature golf course accounted for just 1% of their total wealth, that would increase your figure to $6x10^16, not at all confluent with Teknophilia's $9x10^13. – Moogle Sep 23 '14 at 16:20

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