Forbes recently released a report that stated there were 2,755 billionaires across the planet. Of those lucky people, three of them live in Provo, with one more in Salt Lake City. Let us take a look at the Provo Billionaires Club.
The Richest Person in Provo
The three billionaires who live in Provo are all from the same family, but only one of them holds the title of richest in Provo. With a net worth of $1.5 billion, Ryan Smith is not only the wealthiest person in Provo but is ranked 2035th in the world.
Ryan is the co-founder, along with his brother Justin and father Scott, of Provo-based cloud computing company Qualtrics.
The company was launched in 2002 while Ryan was still attending Brigham Young University. The Smith family made their fortune when Qualtrics was acquired by SAP for US$8 billion in November 2018. Earlier this year, SAP spun out Qualtrics as a standalone public company, and Smith purchased $120 million of stock in his former business.
Most people in Provo will know Ryan Smith through his ownership of the NBA franchise, the Utah Jazz. He purchased the Jazz in December 2020 for $1.66 billion.
Before purchasing the Utah franchise, he was in negotiation with the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire them. Smith said he was "really close" to making a bid to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves, much to his wife's dismay.
"You know we're Jazz fans, right? That's what we do, and I'm not moving." Ashley Smith
The Other Smith Billionaires in Provo
Ryan's brother Jared is worth $1.3 billion. As a co-founder of Qualtrics, he owned 14% of the company when the firm was bought by SAP. Along with Ryan, he still runs Qualtrics.
The father of Ryan and Jared (along with seven other children) is Scott Smith. He also owned 14% of Qualtriecs at the time it was acquired and has a net worth of $1 billion.
The wealthiest person in Utah
Despite Provo boasting three billionaires, the richest person in Utah lives in Salt Lake City. Gail Miller holds that title with a net worth of $2.4 billion. Along with her husband Larry (who passed away in 2009), she has a chain of Toyota dealerships. They started with one in 1979, building this to the 64 that Gail currently owns under the Larry H Miller Dealership brand. The company has nearly 1600 employees and over $5 billion in annual sales.
The Millers purchased the Utah Jazz in 1986 for $22 million and sold the team to Ryan Smith for $1.66 billion. Miller holds a small interest still and had a clause inserted that the team needed to remain in Utah.
Miller is also known for her philanthropy efforts. Along with her husband, they have made significant donations to Brigham Young University. The softball field on campus is known as Gail Miller Field, while the baseball field is called Larry H Miller Field.
They also established the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation in 2007
"Coming up in a poor family, I learned an awful lot of things about living life that I would never have learned otherwise - things like how to create something out of nothing." Gail Miller
While Provo boasts three millionaires- the city with the most billionaires in the world is Beijing which has 100 just ahead of New York City, which boasts 99.
Let's hope there are more Provo billionaires in 2022!
Readers, have any of you met or had any dealings with any of the Provo billionaires? As always, please let us know in the comments as we would love to hear!