J.B. Pritzker has pumped $63 million into his run for governor so far, but it hasn’t put a damper on the Chicago billionaire’s bottom line.
The estimated wealth of the Hyatt hotel heir and Democratic primary contender has seen a bump of $100 million since October, bringing his net worth up to $3.5 billion, according to Forbes’ latest rankings of billionaires across the globe.
But Pritzker didn’t do quite as well on the list as hedge fund magnate Ken Griffin, whose value jumped by $500 million — up to an even $9 billion.
That helped Griffin — a supporter of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner to the tune of $22.5 million over the last two years — to continue his reign as Illinois’ richest person.
Pritzker has spent nearly $63.7 million on political funding since March 2016, with more than $63.2 million going into his own war chest, according to a Chicago Sun-Times analysis. That’s second only to the $67.7 million Rauner has contributed, largely to his own campaign fund.
Helping move Pritzker up to fourth on the list of richest Illinoisans was the downfall of Rishi Shah, the health care technology entrepreneur who has been accused of misleading investors on sales figures. Shah’s wealth was valued at $3.6 billion in the October rankings of the 400 richest Americans, a month before he was hit with court papers and bumped from Forbes’ rankings.
Besides Griffin, Pritzker still sits on the Illinois list behind investment mogul Sam Zell — who held onto the 2nd-richest slot despite a $200 million dip since October, down to an estimated net worth of $4.9 billion — and Pritzker’s cousin Thomas Pritzker, who had a good five months as well, accruing $400 million to bring his fortune up to $4.1 billion.
Four additional Illinois members of the Pritzker clan qualify as billionaires, according to Forbes: Jean “Gigi” ($3 billion), Penny ($2.8 billion), Jennifer ($1.9 billion) and Nicholas II ($1.5 billion). Another five out-of-state Pritzkers also made the billionaire list, bringing the entire amassed family fortune to $31.9 billion.
In all, 17 Illinoisans cracked the international list of billionaires, including casino developer Neil Bluhm ($3.2 billion), Koch Foods CEO Joseph Grendys ($2.9 billion), financier Mark Walter ($2.8 billion), Beanie Baby creator Ty Warren ($2.7 billion), Groupon founder Eric Lefkofsky ($2.2 billion) and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf ($1.4 billion).
Overall, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos vaulted to the world’s richest man at a net worth of $112 billion — a growth of more than $30 billion compared to the October rankings. Bezos leapfrogged Microsoft founder Bill Gates ($90 billion) for the top slot.
Though he is top dog in the state, Griffin’s fortune is only good for the No. 172 in the world, by Forbes’ estimate. J.B. Pritzker’s net worth puts him at No. 652 worldwide.
Rauner has not made the cut to be included on Forbes’ lists. He once estimated his net worth at $500 million, and reported a joint taxable income of $73 million with first lady Diana Rauner in 2016.