JK Rowling among Scotland’s richest people – but there’s a reason she isn’t a billionaire

JK Rowling is among the world’s richest authors – and she proved that today coming in as the 12th wealthiest person in Scotland.

The Harry Potter author has an eye-watering fortune worth £850 million according to the latest Sunday Times Rich List. That is a £30 million jump up since the 2021 list.

She narrowly missed out on Scotland’s top 10, all of whom are billionaires. She was featured in the Scottish list despite being born in England due to having lived up north for many years, even writing her books in Edinburgh.

Despite having a huge net worth, The Times say that Rowling would have been a billionaire were it not for her extensive charitable donations as well as a decision to stay tax resident in the UK.

It comes as Anders Holch Povlsen, who is the owner of Danish retailer Bestseller and has a 25% stake in ASOS, was named Scotland’s richest individual for 2022.

The 49-year-old has amassed a personal fortune of £6.5billion – which is up by £500million compared to last year.

Why is JK Rowling not a billionaire?

JK Rowling at the world premiere of the first Harry Potter film in 2001

Due to charitable donations and philanthropy, Rowling no longer has billionaire status.

According to The Times, she is thought to have earned more than £1 billion from her books and £200 million from Harry Potter films franchise over the years.

Last year, she donated £6.7 million to her Volant Trust, which was named after her mother and helps to fund charitable organisations and projects in Scotland.

She also gave £1 million to help the homeless and victims of domestic abuse during the pandemic, splitting the money between homeless charity Crisis and domestic abuse charity Refuge.

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She dropped out of Forbes’ billionaire list in 2012, with the publication stating: “New information about Rowling’s estimated $160 million in charitable giving combined with Britain’s high tax rates bumped the Harry Potter scribe from our list this year.”

The Bristol-born author’s empire includes three amusement parks, websites that rake in millions, and of course the globally recognised Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises.

Her net worth has been rising year on year while many other’s fall.

Robert Watts, the compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List, said: “Scotland’s richest people have fared less well than those elsewhere in the UK, with half of this year’s 10 Scottish billionaires seeing their fortunes fall over the past year.”

Other rich Scots include Greenock brothers Sandy and James Easdale who are former directors of Rangers, worth £1.363 billion and Anders Holch Povlsen who is the owner of Asos, worth £6.5 billion.

Did you know about Rowling’s charitable donations? Let us know in the comments.

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