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Bill Gates has a reason to smile today...

The Forbes rich list is out and there’s a former basketball player on it.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has something to smile about today.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has something to smile about today.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

THE WORLD’S RICHEST person got even richer this year. And a basketball superstar-turned-owner made the list for the first time.

Forbes says Bill Gates’s net worth rose to $79.2 billion (€70.8 billion) in 2015 from $76 billion last year.

That put him at the top of the magazine’s list of the world’s billionaires for the second consecutive year. The co-founder of Microsoft Corporation has topped the list for 16 of the last 21 years.

Irish citizenship 

So who else made the cut?

Of those with Irish citizenship is Pallonji Mistry, who chairs India-based construction giant, Shapoorji Pallonji Group.

He ranked at 55, with $16.3 billion. Telecom and media tycoon Denis O’Brien is ranked at 199 with $6.8 billion.

In second place is Mexican telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim Helu, with a net worth of $77.1 billion. He had topped the list in 2013.

Next is investor Warren Buffett, who moved up one slot this year with a net worth of $72.7 billion.

Warren Buffett leads See's Candies Factory Tour Warren Buffett decorating chocolate marshmallow Jack-O'-Lantern. Source: AP/Press Association Images

 

In fourth place was Amancio Ortega, the Spanish co-founder of clothing retail chain Zara, with a net worth of $64.5 billion. Rounding out the top five was Larry Ellison, founder of technology company Oracle Corporation, with $54.3 billion.

Forbes said there were 1,826 billionaires on its list this year, up from 1,645 in 2014. Added together, they were worth a combined $7.05 trillion, up from $6.4 trillion last year.

Women 

Most of those on the list were men. But there were 197 women, up from 172 a year ago. The highest-ranking woman was Christy Walton, the widow of John Walton, a son of the founder of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. She has a net worth of $41.7 billion, according to Forbes.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg jumped five places on the list, gaining $4.9 billion since 2014.

The world’s youngest billionaire was 24-year-old Evan Spiegel, the CEO and co-founder of mobile messaging company Snapchat, with a net worth of $1.5 billion. Snapchat’s other co-founder, 25-year-old Bobby Murphy, had the same net worth as Spiegel.

Other tech billionaire newcomers were two co-founders of taxi-ordering app Uber and one of its executives. Three co-founders of Airbnb, the vacation-home rental website, also made the list.

Suns Hornets Basketball Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Basketball legend Michael Jordan joined the list for the first time this year, thanks to his ownership in basketball team Charlotte Hornets and payouts from his Nike brand. Jordan had a net worth of $1 billion, the magazine said.

This is the 29th year that Forbes has released its billionaires list. The magazine said it calculated each person’s wealth based on stock prices and exchange rates on Feb. 13, 2015.

Additional reporting Christina Finn

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