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Last Updated: Friday, 27 February, 2004, 10:19 GMT
Rowling joins Forbes billionaires
JK Rowling
Harry Potter author JK Rowling is one of the UK's top earners
Harry Potter author JK Rowling has joined the prestigious US-based Forbes magazine's list of world billionaires.

Rowling saw her wealth rise to $1bn (530m) with the success of her last book, The Order of the Phoenix, and the Potter film franchise, Forbes said.

Last year Rowling, 39, who is currently writing the sixth Potter book, was named the world's best-paid author.

Once an unemployed single mother, she has now sold more than 250 million books around the world.

Rowling was ranked at number 552 out of a record number of 587 billionaires in the Forbes list.

The writer said last year that the enormous wealth the Harry Potter books have brought her made her feel guilty.

In an interview with Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman, she said the rewards had been "completely disproportionate".

Joked

The Sunday Times had estimated Rowling's personal wealth at 280m before the release of The Order of the Phoenix, but Rowling denied that amount was correct.

"I met my accountant recently and I said 'They say in the rich list that I am richer than the Queen, so that means you've embezzled quite a lot of money,'" Rowling told Paxman in June.

"I mean I do know what ball park I've got. I mean I'm not that clueless. And I certainly have not got 280m," she added.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was the world's richest man in the Forbes list for the 10th year running with a personal fortune of over $46bn (24.7b).

The magazine's list mainly consists of business tycoons, including five members of the Walton family, which owns US supermarket chain Wal-Mart and Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea football club.


SEE ALSO:
JK Rowling 'best paid author'
02 Nov 03  |  Entertainment
Rowling's 'guilt' at Potter wealth
19 Jun 03  |  Entertainment
Rowling up for adult book prize
14 Jan 04  |  Entertainment
Potter world book sales hit 250m
17 Nov 03  |  Entertainment


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