The central characters of the Oscar-winning film Forrest Gump make an investment in Apple in the 1970s. How much would their stock be worth today?

A website called fancydresscostumes.co.uk has spent some time calculating how much Forrest Gump's 1970s investment in Apple would be worth today (if he held on to his stock and was real). The answer, predictably, is quite a bit.

In the Oscar-winning film, Tom Hanks' character gets lucky with a shrimping venture, and after leaving the business in the hands of his first mate and former military colleague Lieutenant Dan, gets luckier still when Dan sagely invests a portion of the proceeds in a fledgling company called Apple Inc. (Very fledgling indeed, in fact, due to a slight dating goof.)

The initial investment, which the website puts at a notional $100,000 - purely speculative, but not unreasonable, given the tremendous success that the Bubba Gump Shrimp chain is supposed to have enjoyed after all the other boats are destroyed by Hurricane Carmen - should have gained the pair about 3 percent of the company. Three percent of Apple! That'll do nicely.

Forrest Gump poster

At the time of Apple's IPO in 1980, Gump and Dan's holding translates into 1,476,460 shares, which would be worth almost $43m at the end of the stock's first day of trading. When the novel Forrest Gump was published in 1986, this had gone up to $49m; when the film was released in 1994 this had skyrocketed to $91.5m.

Fast forward to the present day, though, and take into account Apple's unprecedented success in the 21st century, and Forrest Gump's nest egg gets really silly. To quote fancydresscostumes.co.uk:

"After accounting for two more stock splits in 2000 and 2005, Forrest & Lieutenant Dan’s holding now stands at 11,811,680 shares. As of today, 2nd July 2012, Apple is trading at $591. That means their initial investment of $100,000 back in 1978 is now worth… $6,980,702,880."

A little under $7bn, then. (Or £4,493,203,650 in real money.) That'll buy you a lot of ping-pong bats.

See also:

Apple tops $600 billion in market value