Top 8 Billionaires Who Call Las Vegas Home

Let's say you got very lucky and hit a Megabucks jackpot for $20 million. Imagine hitting 50 of those jackpots and you'd have won $1 billion. As fanciful as that sounds, it still wouldn't be enough to crack the roster of the seven wealthiest Americans on the latest Forbes 400 list who maintain their primary residence in Southern Nevada.

We've also included an eighth individual who lives out of town but has wielded considerable influence in Las Vegas. And no, it's not leveraged buyout specialist and 25th-ranked Carl Icahn of New York City, who acquired the unfinished Fontainebleau resort in 2010 with part of his $13 billion fortune. Nor is it fellow New Yorker, 128th-ranked Donald Trump, whose $2.9 billion empire includes a high-rise hotel near the Las Vegas Strip.

1. Sheldon Adelson -- The 78-year-old Las Vegas casino mogul tops this list with $21.5 billion, good enough for 8th place overall on the Forbes list. His key holdings under the Las Vegas Sands umbrella include the Venetian and Palazzo resorts and the Sands Expo and Convention Center. Old-timers remember that Adelson once ran Comdex, which catered to computer aficionados and was the largest trade show in Las Vegas.

2. Kirk Kerkorian -- At 94, Kerkorian maintains his primary residence in Beverly Hills, Calif., so consider him the honorary member of this group. But his $3 billion fortune and 117th place appearance on the Forbes list has much to do with his role as a major gaming industry figure in Las Vegas since the 1960s, including his role as founder and director emeritus of MGM Resorts International. Kerkorian also opened the International Hotel (which became the Las Vegas Hilton), built the original MGM Grand resort (which later became Bally's), and later developed the current MGM Grand.

3. Steve Wynn -- Few individuals are more synonymous with Las Vegas than the 69-year-old Wynn, who gave rise to the modern megaresort when he built the Mirage following years at the helm of downtown's Golden Nugget. Worth $2.8 billion, good enough for 130th on the Forbes list, Wynn went on to build the Treasure Island and Bellagio resorts before turning his attention to more recent projects, including the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore hotels.

4. Nancy Walton Laurie -- The 60-year-old member of the Walton family that launched Wal-Mart calls Henderson her home. Worth $2.7 billion, good for 139th on the Forbes list, Laurie holds interests in commercial real estate, shopping centers and a bank and once owned the National Hockey League's St. Louis Blues. She also founded a ballet company in New York.

Phillip Ruffin
Phil Ruffin - Photo courtesy of Treasure Island Hotel and Casino

5. Phillip Ruffin -- The 76-year-old Las Vegas resident, 166th on the Forbes list with a net worth of $2.4 billion, made his fortune in convenience stores and oil distribution before plunging into the local gaming market with purchase of the now shuttered New Frontier. After selling that property he bought the Treasure Island resort, which he continues to operate.

6. Elaine Wynn -- The 68-year-old former wife of Steve Wynn landed 263rd on the Forbes list with a $1.7 billion fortune. A director of Wynn Resorts, she is an active supporter of education in Southern Nevada She is also on the boards of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

7. Frank Fertitta -- Coming in at number 355 on the Forbes list, the 49-year-old Fertitta has a net worth of $1.25 billion. He is part of the family that initially made its fortune through ownership of Station Casinos but he really struck gold with his control of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a mixed martial arts sport quickly growing in popularity.

8. Lorenzo Fertitta -- The 42-year-old younger brother of Frank Ferritta also made the Forbes list at number 359 with a net worth of $1.2 billion, thanks to the same business affiliations.


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