Even though Jeff Bezos is no longer the richest man in the United States, he is still the richest in Washington, according to a list of the richest Americans in 2022, eight of whom call the Evergreen State home.

The Amazon founder and executive chairperson has $151 billion in wealth, down from $201 billion last year, according to the Forbes 400 2022. Taking Bezos’ place for the first time in four years is Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. Musk is based in Austin, Texas.

Trailing Bezos is Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. With a $106 billion net worth in 2022, Gates is the third-richest in the U.S. and second-richest in Washington.

Along with Gates, the list is dominated by Microsoft executives, including former CEO Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft scientist and Gates Foundation co-chair Melinda French Gates, and current technical fellow and the architect behind the early versions of Office applications Charles Simonyi. Together, they amass a fortune of over $200 billion. Except for French Gates, all Microsoft executives saw their net worth shrink from a year ago.

The rankings are based on net-worth estimates this past September compared to September 2021.

In all, the richest tech billionaires in the U.S. lost $315 billion over the year, according to Forbes — mostly as a result of stock-market faltering.


For example, tumbling Microsoft stocks drove net-worth decreases for Gates and Ballmer, who lost $28 billion and $13.5 billion, respectively. 

French Gates, who joined the list in 2021, had her wealth go up to $6.4 billion from $6.3 billion in 2021. Besides being co-chair of the Gates Foundation, she also leads Pivotal Ventures, an incubator and investment venture she created in 2015 focused on companies built by women and underrepresented founders.

MacKenzie Scott, a novelist and philanthropist, was the only other woman on the eight-person list of Washington-based billionaires. She has a net worth of $37.7 billion, down from $58.5 billion in 2021. 

Following her divorce from Bezos, she received a 4% stake in Amazon. About two years ago, Scott announced she and her then-new husband Dan Jewett would give away all of her fortune. Scott gave away more than $12 billion to nonprofits since then. Last week, Scott filed a petition for divorce

For comparison, Bezos paid out just $2.1 billion from his $10 billion pledge so far.


Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Bellevue-based gaming company Valve, was the only Washington billionaire whose $3.9 billion fortune stayed the same over last year. In 2021, he was one of the few individuals whose net worth decreased.

Finally, Starbucks magnate Howard Schultz’s $3.3 billion net worth decreased from nearly $5 billion last year. Starbucks stock decreased about 24% year-to-date. He’s on his third-stint as Starbucks’ interim CEO and in 2019 considered to run as an independent presidential candidate. 

Schultz announced former Reckitt CEO Laxman Narasimhan as his replacement for the chief executive job in September. Schultz presented Narasimhan to a room of investors and members of the press during the company’s Investor Day event last month. Schultz will remain on the board of Starbucks after the transition.

According to Forbes, the richest people in Washington state are:

  1. Jeff Bezos ($151B)
  2. Bill Gates ($106B)
  3. Steve Ballmer ($83B)
  4. MacKenzie Scott ($37.7B)
  5. Melinda French Gates ($6.4B)
  6. Charles Simonyi ($5.3B)
  7. Gabe Newell ($3.9B)
  8. Howard Schultz ($3.3B)