The last time a billionaire CEO got divorced without a prenup he hand wrote a check for $974,790,317.77

  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man, announced Wednesday via Twitter that he and his wife, MacKenzie, would divorce.
  • It was reported on Thursday the couple do not have a prenuptial agreement.
  • One infamous instance of a billionaire going through a divorce without a prenup was Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who is the world's richest man, said Wednesday via Twitter that he and his wife, MacKenzie, planned to divorce after 25 years of marriage. 

TMZ reported Thursday the Bezoses do not have a prenuptial agreement, citing "sources with direct knowledge" of the matter.

Some could draw a comparison between the Bezoses' impending split — if in fact there is no prenup — and that of another billionaire, oil magnate Harold Hamm.

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Hamm, the CEO of Continental Resources, was ordered in November of 2014 to pay his ex-wife, Sue Ann Arnall, nearly $1 billion in cash and assets when the couple divorced after 26 years of marriage. At the time, the marital estate was said to be worth $18 billion. There was no prenup.

Arnall had sought billions more than the $974,790,317.77 she was awarded. Their case began in 2012, and concluded after two and a half years; the judgement was among the largest-ever in a U.S. divorce. Here's a copy of the handwritten check from Hamm to Arnall:

harold hamm checkReuters

But the Bezos divorce is likely to have a much bigger payday for MacKenzie. Jeff is worth $137 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, making him the world's richest person. 

Furthermore, since the divorce proceedings are likely to take place in Washington — MacKenzie could benefit from that state's community property divorce rules, where a 50/50 split applies to the estate. Hamm's divorce, meanwhile, played out in Oklahoma, an equitable-distribution state, meaning the assets are divided "fairly" at a judge's discretion

Still, any final ruling will be for the judge to decide. 

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