CARY – Tim Sweeney, the CEO and founder of Epic Games, appears well on his way to surpassing Jim Goodnight, the cofounder and CEO of nearby SAS, as the richest person in North Carolina.

Of course, that could change given that Sweeney and Epic are locked in a high-stakes legal game with Apple and Google about fees charged by the tech giants.

But for the moment he’s still very rich – and getting very richer.

SAS photo

Jim Goodnight (SAS photo)

In its latest “Forbes 400” report that ranks the 400 wealthiest people in the US, Sweeney is ranked at No. 123 with a net worth estimated at $5.3 billion.

Goodnight comes in at No. 95 with a fortune estimated at $6.5 billion.

Sweeney has already passed No. 3 – SAS cofounder John Sall ranked No. 260 at $3.2 billion in net worth.

Goodnight’s fortune has climbed $400 million in recent months despite the pandemic. But Sweeney’s has climbed $800 million in that same time.

Apple blasts Epic Games, says Fortnite publisher is hardly a ‘Robin Hood’

Boosting Sweeney’s wealth was a recent, second fundraiser of more than $1 billion – the second in two years – as well as the global impact of its hit game Fortnite. Epic is valued at more than $17 billion, according to venture capital news site Crunchbase.

Both companies are privately held, and neither firm will discuss their CEO’s fortunes.

Spread the wealth among the wealthy

The two are hardly alone when it comes to growing their fortunes.

“America’s 400 richest are worth a record $3.2 trillion, up $240 billion from a year ago, aided by a stock market that has defied the virus,” Forbes reports.

“Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, worth $179 billion, is number one for the third year in a row, followed by Bill Gates at number two.

“It still takes at least $2.1 billion, unchanged for the past three years, to make the cut. Even in these trying times mega-fortunes are still being minted.”

Forbes reports that the 400 includes 18 new members.

Read the full report online.