The meth cook Walter White and his sidekick Jesse Pinkman made millions cooking meth for Gus Fring. How much did they get to keep?
For its fans, the AMC produced TV show ‘Breaking Bad’ represented the zenith of visual entertainment. The show is remembered by millions all around the world even after 7 years since its final episode. The show revolves around the struggles of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin, and his accomplice Jesse Pinkman. The duo sold a large quantity of meth over the course of 5 seasons, much of it for a drug distributor named Gus Fring, and makes millions doing so.
- A brief overview of ‘Breaking Bad’
- The money earned, spent, invested, and wasted by the duo
- Crunching the numbers – How much does Jesse end up with?
Walter White and Jesse’s operation was anything but smooth, from a stolen RV van and a state of the art lab to a makeshift lab in insect-infested homes, they’ve really shown just how flexible the drug business can be. Walter and Jesse worked under quite a few drug distributors, most notably Krazy-8, Tuco Salamanca, and Gus Fring; all of whom they ended up killing. So, the question arises, how much money did they make? And how much of it did they get to keep given how the show concluded? Let’s find out!
A brief overview of ‘Breaking Bad’
A fifty year old, underpaid, and overqualified high school chemistry teacher Walter White gets diagnosed with cancer and decides to turn his whole life around. Coming to the conclusion that his cancer treatment and his eventual death would leave his family of 4 (his wife and their two children) completely and financially broke; he partnered up with his former student and currently wanted criminal Jesse Pinkman to manufacture and sell a highly addictive and profitable drug called methamphetamine or “meth”.
Walter’s work ethic and scientific knowledge allows him to cook the highest quality meth and drive away all competition (& also attract the attention of DEA and other dealers). Initially, they try to sell their product to local dealers such as Krazy-8 and Tuco but end up killing them due to mutual animosity. The duo finds a suitable employer in Gus Fring, a professional, under whom they work for the longest time.
However, they end up killing him as well, in case he tries to kill them first. From that point on till the end, the duo are in partnership with Todd and his uncles. Walter White dies in the final episode of the 5th season as he kills Todd’s uncles and frees Jesse from captivity.
The money earned, spent, invested, and wasted by the duo
In the beginning, neither Walter nor Jesse was financially endowed with Walter working 2 jobs to make ends meet and Jesse being a small-time meth cook. Walter had bills mounting up from his cancer treatment and his entire life’s savings amounted to 7000$ which he lent to Jesse to buy an RV.
Walt figures that he would need about $737k till he can quit cooking meth but Jesse does not have any such figure in his mind at any point in the show. The duo makes 3 million each working for 3 months under Gus Fring. Walter decides to buy a car wash for 800k to launder money from and also pays Beneke’s fine of 621,552.33 $; meanwhile, Jesse buys his aunt’s house back from his parents for 400k.
Towards the end, Walter and Skyler are seen with a huge stack of cash which they approximate to be $27 million in loose currency. Jesse was never in it for the money, he was primarily in for the freedom that such amounts of money can buy. In the show, he was seen tossing wads of cash at his house party and then, later on, seem unbothered when a guy tries to steal 75k from his home.
Crunching the numbers – How much does Jesse end up with?
Jesse threw away roughly 5 million dollars which Walt gave him before ditching him and siding with the DEA. In the movie ‘El Camino‘, a free Jesse retrieves a ton of cash from Todd’s apartment but has to split it up with a former acquaintance and ends up 1800$ short of 250k. Jesse then kills this man and takes the cash. He uses 250k of his newfound fortune to buy a new identity and start over his life in Alaska.
Walter and Jesse make tens of millions of dollars but are unable to keep it all. With the money they do get to keep, they manage to do a little good for themselves and their families. Share your views about the show’s ending in the comments box below.