Wednesday, April 20, 2011


What is a Trillion, anyway?

Baby Boomers have often proclaimed “50 is the new 40.”

According a recent CNN report, “Trillion is the new billion.”

With all the talk about stimulus funding, deficits and the budget, the numbers lack context. It is hard for us to understand a billion, let alone a trillion.

To start with, let’s start with dollars we can understand. Let’s say I settled a large injury case that netted you $100,000.00. That is clearly One Hundred Thousand dollars.

Ten times that is One Thousand Thousands, or what we call One Million Dollars.

Now, it takes One Thousand Million to make a Billion. That is a one followed by nine zeros.

And a Trillion is a Thousand Billion. Feeling numb yet?

You see, a Trillion dollars is the number 1 followed by 12 zeroes!

One trillion $1 bills stacked one on top of the other would reach nearly 68,000 miles into the sky, or about a third of the way from the Earth to the moon!

A million seconds is about 11½ days. A billion seconds is about 32 years, and a trillion seconds is 32,000 years!

That means that a billion minutes ago, Jesus had just risen from the dead!

To put a trillion dollars in context, if you spend a million dollars every day since Jesus was born, you still wouldn't have spent a trillion!

I sometimes wonder if our elected officials actually understand these numbers.

*Mr. Peel, a Christian Injury Lawyer, may be available to speak to your church or community group. He may be reached through Other articles maybe found on his blog at