Having deal with business and all have got us really thinking, what is a trillion? How big is a trillion exactly?

For simplicity sake, this post will be based on the American definition of a trillion. It defers from the British standards.

In numbers

It looks something like this:

A thousand = 1,000
Ten thousand = 10,000
Hundred thousand = 100,000

A million = 1,000,000 (6 zeroes)
A billion = 1,000,000,000 (9 zeroes)
A trillion = 1,000,000,000,000  (12 zeroes)

If you haven’t known or notice this already,

A million also refers to a thousand thousands.
A billion also refers to a thousand millions.
A trillion also refers to a thousand billions.

In time

If we count backwards,

1 million seconds = 12 days ago
1 billion seconds = 31 years ago
1 trillion seconds = 30,000 B.C.

Graphical approach

Hundred dollar bill


This is the current US$100 bill. (A hundred dollars)


Ten Thousand Dollar Bill


A packet of 100 x US$100 bills – containing US$10,000. (Ten thousand dollars or $10 thousand)


One Million


A tiny stack of 100 packets x US$10,000. Which gives us… US$1,000,000. (A million dollars or $1 million)


hundred million


A pallet that fits 100 stacks x USD $1,000,000. Which gives us… US$100,000,000 (A hundred million dollars or $100 Million.)

Hang in there… we are just getting started.

1 billion


This is a Billion. 10 pallets x $100 million = $1 billion. (US$1,000,000,000)



1 trillion


This is a trillion, US$1 trillion.

Notice the man placed there as reference point? Also the pallets are double stacked. Hundred dollar bills!

This is a thousand billions, the gargantuan, US$1,000,000,000,000. A trillion dollars.

Still perplexed or mind-boggling?

Say… if a person is given a lifespan of 80 years, to have:

$1 million = You have to save $34 every single day of your life.
$1 billion = You have to save $34,000 every single day of your life. (Wow!)
$1 trillion = You have to save $34 million every single day of your life. (OMG!)

We do know of multi-millionaires and even billionaires out there and with almost absolute certainty, they did not save $34,000 every single day of their lives! Who could have done that!??? Then again, how did they become multi-millionaires in the first place? Good question to ponder about.

And of course…

Given a person’s annual salary is $40,000, it would have taken him/her:

25 years to earn $1 million.
25 thousand years to earn $1 billion.
25 million years to earn $1 trillion.

Gosh! How long is our lifespan again?

And is it always about working?

Contact us and we will guide you on how you can “Making a living… living.”