If it costs $25.3 billion to be Santa, who could afford it?

Published: Monday, December 18, 2017 @ 1:22 PM

A History of Santa

A few weeks ago, I got an email from an English public relations strategist pointing me to the website of the United Kingdom’s “leading independent online florist” 

RELATED: 4 great sparkling wines for the holidays

The idea is that they did a “study” about how much it would cost to be Santa Claus (short answer: $25.3 billion) and I’m supposed to write something fun about that and you’re supposed to click the link to the study itself and end up on www.serenataflowers.com and decide to buy flowers for all your friends in England.

But a question came up. No, not why are they making their pitch to a guy in Texas who writes about puking snakeseating bugs and Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic (though that is also a valid question).

The question is, if it DID cost $25.3 billion to be Santa Claus, who COULD be Santa Claus? It seems that kind of financial requirement would narrow the list down quite a bit.

Right down to 29 people, as it turns out.

Looking at the Forbes list of billionaires, only the top 28 in the world have more than $25.3 billion (the children of the man who created the German supermarket giant Aldi share the No. 24 spot, if you’re wondering how we came to the number 29). 

Let’s narrow down who could be Santa Claus.

RULE NO. 1: Being Santa Claus for one year can’t wipe you out. Let’s say you need to have $12.5 billion left over to get you halfway to next Christmas. So you need at least $37.8 billion to make the cut.

That eliminates: Phil Knight (seemed like a contender), John Mars, Jacqueline Mars, David Thomson, Beate Heister & Karl Albrecht Jr., Jack Ma (Christmas is big in China), Jorge Paulo Lemann, Steve Ballmer, Sheldon Adelson (perhaps a GOP Santa Claus), Li Ka-shing, Wang Jianlin and Wal-Mart heirs Alice, Jim and S. Robson Walton.

That leaves: Liliane Bettencourt, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Bernard Arnault, Michael Bloomberg, David Koch, Charles Koch, Larry Ellison, Carlos Slim Helu, Mark Zuckerberg, Amancio Ortega, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

RULE NO. 2: Santa Claus has a long history and obviously has been wealthy for a good while. You have to have made the Forbes billionaire list 25 years ago … in 1992.

That eliminates: Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Bernard Arnault, Michael Bloomberg (perhaps a Democrat Santa Claus), Larry Ellison, Mark Zuckerberg, Amancio Ortega and Jeff Bezos (a natural at shipping logistics).

That leaves: Liliane Bettencourt, David Koch, Charles Koch, Carlos Slim Helu, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

RULE No. 3: You have to still be alive.

That eliminates: Liliane Bettencourt (the makeup heiress died this year after making the list)

That leaves: David Koch, Charles Koch, Carlos Slim Helu, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

RULE No. 4: Santa Claus lives at the North Pole and he is not a climate change skeptic. I mean, c’mon, he can see the effects of global warming right out of his workshop.

That eliminates: David Koch, Charles Koch

That leaves: Carlos Slim Helu, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

We’re down to our final three: Carlos Slim Helu doesn’t use a computer and keeps track of his businesses in detailed notebooks (he’s making a list, checking it twice?).  And Warren Buffett has a lengthy and impressive commitment to philanthropy.

But Bill Gates? He’s already been working at being Santa. This CNN story reveals that Gates has been participating in Reddit's Secret Santa Gift exchange for at least half a decade. Not only that, but as No. 1 on Forbes’ list, he’s got the money to keep this Santa thing going for quite a while.

I’m calling it. If being Santa Claus requires $25.3 billion, then Santa Claus has to be Bill Gates.

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Dayton traffic from the WHIO Traffic Center

Published: Friday, March 02, 2018 @ 2:52 AM
Updated: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 5:46 AM

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

Major Highway Incidents

  • No incidents to report. 

Surface Street Incidents

  • On W. Holtzmuller Road in Preble County, vehicle into a pole and reportedly on its side at 11:45 p.m.

>> RELATED: WHIO App-Winter

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 


  • Arlington Road between Pleasant Plain and Upper Lewisburg Salem Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE, March 5 - Sept. 30. All ramps for I-70 will remain open. 
  • Keowee Street north of Stanley Avenue, bridge closed until 2019. The official detour is: Keowee Street to Stanley Avenue to I-75 to Wagner Ford Road and back to Dixie. More information is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
  • SR 48 between First Street and Riverdale Street, Lane closures March 19 - April 1. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west, RAMP CLOSURE, March 12 - Sept. 30. The official detour is: I-75 north to US 35 east to Jefferson/Main Street to Ludlow Street to US 35 west. 
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west and east, Lane width restriction until Apr. 1, 2018. One lane will remain open on the ramp with a width of 11 feet.


  • N. Market Street between Foss Way/Kirk Lane and Stonyridge Avenue, ROAD CLOSURE March 5 at 7 a.m. - Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. 


  • SR 47 between Fifth Avenue and Wilkinson Avenue, Lane closures Jan. 21 - Nov. 27. One lane will remain open in each direction at all times. 


  • SR 121 between Washington Street and Fairview Street, ROAD CLOSURE Mar. 12 - April 13. The official detour is: SR 722 to US 127 to SR 503. 
  • SR 121 between Arnold Street and Harter Road, ROAD CLOSURE Mar. 12 - April 13. The official detour is: SR 722 to US 127 to SR 503. 


  • I-70 east Ramp to I-675 north, RAMP CLOSURE March 15 - Aug. 15. The official detour is: I-70 east to I-675 south to SR 444 to I-675 north


  • US 68 between SR 508 and Township Road 310, ROAD CLOSURE April 23 - 27. The official detour is: US 68 to SR 296 to SR 29 to SR 235 to SR 47 to US 68. 

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Apartment fire sends woman to hospital, displaces 6 units in Harrison Twp.

Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 7:19 PM

Apt fire

An apartment fire this evening displaced the occupants of six units and sent one woman to a local hospital.

Crews were called shortly before 5 p.m. to 1962 Republic Drive on a report of heavy smoke coming from an apartment.

>> Flames consume vacant house in Piqua

The woman was taken to Miami Valley Hospital; her injuries are minor, according to Harrison Twp. fire officials.

The American Red Cross was called to assist residents in six units who were displaced.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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Crews investigate possible gas leak at recently reopened Beavercreek Walmart

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 10:41 PM

Possible gas leak at recently re-opened Walmart

Crews evacuated and investigated the Beavercreek Walmart Supercenter Sunday night on reports of a possible gas leak, according to officials. 

RELATED: Beavercreek Walmart reopens after solar panel fire 

The incident was dispatched around 10:20 p.m. at the store located at 3360 Pentagon Blvd, per initial reports.

The matter was resolved relatively quickly and customers were allowed to re-enter the store once crews finished their investigation.

The store recently reopened after being closed for over a week after solar panels caught fire on the roof of the building. 

No word on if this possible gas leak was related to the previous incident. 

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Chance for rain, snow returns this week

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 5:00 AM
Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 8:57 PM

A pleasant evening is expected in the Dayton area, but rain and snow are expected to return later this week.

A quiet night is expected with temperatures overnight dropping into the lower 30s, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar  said.


  • Rain returns Monday evening
  • Snow expected Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Lower temperatures this week

>>Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar


Monday: Clouds will increase through the day with highs in the lower to middle 50s. The chance for rain returns in the evening, and with temperatures falling past sunset, a few wet flakes may mix in as well.

>>County-by-County Forecast 

Tuesday: The chance for snow is increasing, as more recent model runs are becoming more consistent and are agreeing more on the chance for snow. We’re calling for snow on Tuesday, some of which could be heavy at times. This snow looks to continue into Wednesday as well. Highs will be in the lower 40s early in the morning with most of the day staying in the 30s. 

>>WHIO Weather App

Wednesday: Snow is likely to continue into Wednesday, especially earlier in the day. By the time the snow wraps up, it looks like we’ll see a couple of inches of snow accumulation, however, there is still a lot of time between now and the event, allowing time for the track to change course. This will have a large effect on just how much snow we see. Temperatures will be in the upper 30s for the day. 

>>Severe Weather Guide

Thursday: Partly sunny skies are expected with highs in the lower 40s.

Friday: A dry start is expected, but the chance for rain returns at night. Highs will be in the middle 40s.

Delco park

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