Secret Billionaires: Exploring The Lives of a Couple Unknown Billionaires

Who is the first person that pops out in your head when you see the word, “billionaire”? Is it Elon Musk, Bill Gates, or Jeff Bezos? We all know the world’s richest and most prominent billionaires, but what are the lives of the other relatively unheard of 2,700 billionaires like?

While 2,700 may seem like a lot of billionaires, keep in mind that number only represents 0.00003% of the world population. Roughly speaking, for every 3 million people alive, there is only 1 billionaire among them.

So, these guys are far and few between. But, the vast majority of billionaires are generally unknown to the public and one of them could pass off as any ordinary person to the untrained eye.

Here we explore a couple of the world’s more obscure billionaires, such as this one for example. We will cover how they acquired their fortune, where they are from and, most importantly, how much is in their pocket.


  1. Johann Graf

Born in 1946 to a poor family in Vienna, Austria, Johann Graf earned his fortune on his own. The conditions he was raised in were so poor that his building did not even have running water, and all the residents had to share one single bathroom.

In his 20s, Johann would discover a loophole of sorts where he could buy a car on credit and then sell it for a profit to people in newspaper ads. He would repeat this venture multiple times until he raised enough money to found a company that imported pinball machines from the U.S to Austria.

In 1975, Johann’s company, Micro, would invent the very first completely electronic pinball machines. Johann was completely ahead of the game on this one, as no other companies were prepared for such an innovation in the market. This kickstarted Johann to expand his business into various other products and services.

By 1980, Johann had made the decision to leave his company to found a new one, which would eventually become Novomatic. Novomatic has since become one of the world’s largest gambling companies with casinos in over 40 different countries.


Today, Johann Graf’s net worth is a cool $4.7 billion USD.


  1. Liu Hanyuan

Liu Hanyaun was born in the Sichuan province of China in 1964. For his education, he graduated from the Fisheries Vocational School, which landed him a job at the Lianghekou Reservoir Fishery. While working there, he invented a new cage system for farming fish which turned out to improve their yields substantially.

Today, Liu Hanyaun is the owner of Tongwei Group, one of the world’s leading companies in both aquafeed and new energy industries. For those of you who don’t know what aquafeed is, it is the food given to commercial aquaculture such as fish farms.

You can probably see where he got started his aquafeed business from.

His company, Tongwei Group, is also the world’s largest producer of solar cells for solar panels. They began investing in this industry in 2002, as they acquired a stake in a small solar firm that would later become the largest solar cell manufacturer in the world – LDK Solar Co.

Liu Hanyuan is #127 on Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires list as of today, with a net worth of $14.5 billion USD.

If you want to do further research on the world’s financial elite, then head over to Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires List, where you can view a profile of every single publicly-known billionaire. Of course, there are even more secret billionaires who have successfully evaded the Forbes list.

It can be difficult to collect data on some people who live outside of the U.S., where laws do not make them report financials as much. Additionally, it is common for people to spread their wealth out between people they can trust, knowing that their money and assets are still effectively under their control.

With that said, the Forbes list does a very good job at profiling the vast majority of billionaires out there. While there probably are billionaires not on the list, it is an insignificant amount. There are still thousands of completely unknown billionaires for you to read up on!

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