Elon Musk Named World’s Richest Man, Trolls Jeff Bezos With Silver Medal Tweet

Musk owned Bezos with a savage “silver medal” tweet after being named world’s richest man.

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Billionaires are just like the rest of us: They enjoy trolling their enemies online as much as the next person.

Case in point: Elon Musk is currently the world’s richest man. Jeff Bezos is in second place. Musk happily tweeted a silver “No. 2” medal emoji at Bezos on Monday just for the hell of it. Having in excess of $100 billion might make anyone giddy enough to publicly tease a rival like that.

Forbes reported on Musk’s elevation to the decabillionaire throne on Sept. 27th:

Elon Musk became the third person to ever be worth $200 billion on Monday, riding a surging Tesla stock that in turn made him the richest person in the world.

His milestone feat follows Amazon founder and space rival Jeff Bezos, who first reached the $200 billion mark in August 2020, and luxury magnate Bernard Arnault, who did so for a short time last month. Shares of Musk’s electric vehicle company Tesla continued a four-month rally, closing up 2.2% at $791.36, the highest they’ve been since February this year. Musk became $3.8 billion richer on Monday and was worth $203.4 billion at the close of markets. He surpasses Bezos, whose fortune fell by $1 billion Monday to $197.7 billion due to a 0.6%  decline in Amazon stock.

Musk’s tweaking of Bezos came in response to a tweet from the Blue Origin founder in which Bezos posted an image of the May 31, 1999 issue of Barron’s dogging Amazon. The magazine stated on the cover that Bezos (who still had hair at the time) was “just another middleman” and the “real winners on the ‘Net” were sure to be companies like Sony, Dell, and Bertelsmann—companies that sold “their own products directly to consumers.”

Bezos, aiming for an inspirational tone, wrote, “Listen and be open, but don’t let anybody tell you who you are. This was just one of the many stories telling us all the ways we were going to fail. Today, Amazon is one of the world’s most successful companies and has revolutionized two entirely different industries.”

As of October 12, Musk was richer than Bezos by about $30 billion.

Bezos has been making news in the billionaire space race, with moves like adding the original Captain Kirk—William Shatner, now 90— to his next Blue Origin mission. Shatner is set to blast into orbit on one of Bezos’s rockets, Musk’s SpaceX reportedly rocks a valuation in the neighborhood of $100 billion. Add that to Musk’s holdings in Tesla, and he’s worth an almost unimaginable amount of money.

With his snarky tweet, Musk was basically just following through on a promise. He essentially said he’d do something like that in a Sept. 28 email to Forbes, writing, “I’m sending a giant statue of the digit ‘2’ to Jeffrey B., along with a silver medal.”

Maybe for his next trick, Musk will see if the rebooted version of James T. Kirk, actor Chris Pine, is interested in making his own real-life journey into space.

Has Bezos received a statue in addition to the second place emoji? No one knows, though it seems like the kind of thing he’d rather not feed into. Bezos, after all, is suing SpaceX.

Musk joked about that, too, after Amazon urged the FCC to deny Musk’s Starlink satellite internet service permission to advance a “second generation” version of the project—even as Amazon is developing what would be a Starlink rival in “Project Kuiper.”

Even though they’re battling with sarcasm and lawsuits rather than swords, it seems like billionaires sometimes live by Highlander rules when it comes taking the top spot on the Forbes Billionaires list: There can be only one.

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Steve Huff

Deputy Digital Editor, Maxim.com