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Facebook IPO: Could Mark Zuckerberg Make $24 Billion?

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 12/02/11 11:10 AM ET   Updated: 12/20/11 12:30 AM ET

A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? Being as wealthy as a quarter of the households in the United States combined.

Well, it may be more scary than cool. But it's a reality for Mark Zuckerberg, who could gain $24 billion when Facebook reportedly plans to go public at a valuation of $100 billion in the spring of 2012. The 27 year-old's net worth after the IPO, according to The Wall Street Journal, would be roughly equal to the combined net worth of the poorest 24.7 percent of our nation.

While the thought of one entrepreneur acquiring wealth that's roughly equivalent to the wealth held by 27,909,024 American households may be mind-boggling, it's hardly something new.

For one, analysts have been forecasting that Facebook will go public at a $100 billion valuation since January 2011, though back then, Goldman Sachs and a Russian billionaire invested $500 million in the social network at a $50 billion valuation. In addition, initial public stock offerings, often referred to in startup land as "the holy grail," have been enriching founders for decades. It's one of the big reasons people risk it all to start new businesses.

But Zuckerberg's potential windfall may be the largest amount an individual founder has ever netted from an IPO, a testament to his 'take the money and maintain control' attitude. FactSet, a financial data and software firm, crunched the numbers and here's how Zuckerberg's potential take stacks up to some of the more notable IPOs in the last 10 years:

Netflix -- Reed Hastings
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IPO Date: 5/23/02
Hasting's IPO Haul: $47.26 Million*

*Based on the market value of shares owned at the IPO offer price.

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