It’s difficult to make sense of past values of paper money in anything other than what it could buy you back then, and what it can buy you today. Perhaps one of the more stable measures of value is gold, which is a currency just like the Rand or Dollar, with the key difference being its value can’t be diluted as easily as central bank controlled paper money.
So let’s take a quick look at the Million Dollar Challenge prize money over the years in gold terms.
In 1987 the Million Dollar Challenge paid a prize money of $1 million on a ‘winner takes all basis’.
Today, the total prize money of the Nedbank Challenge (previously the Million Dollar Challenge) is $5 million.
In 1987, $1 million was worth 2040 ounces of gold. Today, $5 million is worth 2,900 ounces of gold. The total prize money, in gold money terms, has therefore increased 42% in 25 years.
Martin Kaymer on Sunday won the first prize and will be paid $1.25 million which is equal to 727 ounces of gold.
In stable gold money terms Kaymer will therefore be taking home 64% less than Ian Woosnam did in 1987.