How rich is J.K. Rowling?

She’s Rowling in it!

J.K. Rowling is the first female billionaire novelist in the world.

The Harry Potter author is worth a reported $1bn, famously dropping off the Forbes rich list due the amount of tax she pays in the UK.

Back in 2010 she said her reason for remaining a domiciled taxpayer was to help her children grow up with proper roots in British culture. Labelling those who choose to move their money outside the UK as “greedy”, she added: “A second reason, however, was that I am indebted to the British welfare state; the very one that Mr Cameron would like to replace with charity handouts. When my life hit rock bottom, that safety net, threadbare though it had become under John Major’s Government, was there to break the fall. I cannot help feeling, therefore, that it would have been contemptible to scarper for the West Indies at the first sniff of a seven-figure royalty cheque. This, if you like, is my notion of patriotism.”

Last year the Sunday Times Rich list estimated she had £580m – more than the combined wealth of the six authors below her on the list.

JK Rowling house

J.K. Rowling’s home in Perthshire in 2001

Rowling’s charitable giving creates another big dent in her wealth. She founded the children’s charity Lumos in 2005 and has donated millions to other causes. In 2007, she wrote the Harry Potter spin-off book The Tales of Beedle the Bard, which raised £1.95m for Lumos.

In 2008, she donated £1m to the Labour Party to help “poor and vulnerable families”, having started her writing career living off the £70 a week state benefits for herself and her child.

In 2011, Forbes said: “New information about Rowling’s estimated $160 million (£101 million) in charitable giving combined with Britain’s high tax rates bumped the Harry Potter scribe from our list this year.”

She earns about $13m a year through Pottermore, a Harry Potter website, which she contributes additional short stories to. She owns the rights to these, allowing her to pocket the substantial royalties.

The Harry Potter brand is reported to be worth about $15m. Adjusted for inflation, the Harry potter movie franchise, of which there are eight films and another currently in post-production, made $7.7bn at the global box office. The ninth film, which is an unrelated story, is called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and will be released in November this year.

Rowling lives in Edinburgh, in a 19th Century mansion which she bought for just over £2m six years ago. She also purchased the next door house for £1m, which she knocked down to enlarge the garden.

The author also reportedly owns a £4.5m Georgian house in Kensington, a home near the river Tay in Perthshire and, according to Australian estate agents, a holiday home in Tasmania.



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