A Penny Doubled Every Day For 30 Days or $1,000,000?

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A penny isn’t as valuable as it used to be, making it easy to dismiss how a single cent can help you build wealth. 

However, did you know you would have more money if you doubled a penny every day for 30 days instead of receiving $1 million upfront?

This may surprise you, but deferring payment and choosing to double your pennies is the more valuable option.

How Much is a Penny That Doubles Every Day for 30 Days?

You’re likely familiar with the classic expression, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” In certain financial situations, it might be better to take a lump-sum payment instead of assuming the risk of deferring payment and getting more money later.

However, in this scenario, you must decide if getting $1 million immediately lets you receive more cash than starting with a single penny and watching it double every day for a month.

If you were to double a penny for 30 days, it would turn into $5,368,709.12!

See the detailed breakdown of each day in the chart below:

Day 1$0.01
Day 2$0.02
Day 3$0.04
Day 4$0.08
Day 5$0.16
Day 6$0.32
Day 7$0.64
Day 8$1.28
Day 9$2.56
Day 10$5.12
Day 11$10.24
Day 12$20.48
Day 13$40.96
Day 14$81.92
Day 15$163.84
Day 16$327.68
Day 17$655.36
Day 18$1,310.72
Day 19$2,621.44
Day 20$5,242.88
Day 21$10,485.76
Day 22$20,971.52
Day 23$41,943.04
Day 24$83,886.08
Day 25$167,772.16
Day 26$335,544.32
Day 27$671,088.64
Day 28$1,342,177.28
Day 29$2,684,354.56
Day 30$5,368,709.12

While you only start with a penny, your balance quickly turns into dollars. On day 15, you have over $100. This still isn’t a lot, but you cross the $1,000 threshold three days later (day 18) and become a millionaire on day 28 ($1,342,177.28, to be precise).

What’s even crazier is that your balance quadruples to a grand total of $5,368,709.12 just two days later to finish the month on day 30.

Compound Interest Builds Wealth

How can a single penny become so valuable within 30 days? 

Having a penny that doubles each day is an excellent example of how compound interest helps you earn more money on your savings.

Most of us probably won’t be able to get a million bucks upfront, so adopting a long-term vision of gradually building wealth is essential.

Even if you can only invest small amounts of money, it’s possible to be richer than a person with a high income or deep cash reserves when you’re diligent about saving for the future. This is because your money can grow over time.

Double Your Net Worth

Increasing your net worth is possible using different strategies. How quickly you can achieve your savings goal depends on various factors, including how much you can save each month and your investment rate of return.

For instance, your portfolio value will double sooner with a 6% annual return versus 2%. 

Rule of 72

You can use the Rule of 72 to determine how long it will take to double your net worth. Simply divide your interest rate by 72 (72 / 6 = 12 years).

So, it takes 12 years to double your initial investment with a 6% annual return. In comparison, you will wait 36 years with a 2% annual return.

Of course, consistent investments and making extra contributions can help you achieve your goal sooner.

Earn Dividend Income

The doubling penny example also shows how dividend income can help you earn a sustainable cash flow over time. If you reinvest your dividends, your net worth will grow.

A side benefit of recurring dividends is the ability to benefit from long-term investment gains when the asset’s market value increases from the original purchase price.


Doubling a penny for 30 days can help you turn no money into a fortune. You can start this practice by investing $100 or less and contributing your extra income whenever possible.

In time, you can become a millionaire and afford various short-term or long-term goals, including buying a house or retiring.