How Alex Jones "monetized his shtick" on Infowars to make a huge amount of money.
Alex Jones's fear-mongering on Infowars did a lot more than just plant the seeds of hate and mistrust.
It helped the far-right conspiracy theorist build up a personal fortune that could be as high as $375 million.
Jones's wealth and the huge amount of money he makes from his bad-reputation website, Infowars, were brought to light in a lawsuit filed by the parents of a Sandy Hook shooting victim.
At the end of the trial, a Texas jury gave Jones huge punitive damages of $US45,2 million.
Jones had been saying for years that the Sandy Hook shooting, in which 26 people died, including 20 children, was a "false flag" with "green screen" images and "crisis actors."
Jones' lies about the people who died at Sandy Hook and their families caused his fans to bother them for years.
The tragic shooting gave conspiracy theorist Jones a chance to spread his twisted view of what happened.
And financial records given to the court showed that when Jones spread his evil lies, people bought supplements, survival gear, documentaries, and other things from his Infowars website in droves.
"I've seen actors before," Jones said on his show on November 18, 2016, when talking about the Sandy Hook shooting.
"And I can tell the difference between a movie and something real."
The Infowars store made $150,000 that day.
That big windfall wasn't a false lead.
Jones made more than $80 million in sales in 2018.
The financial records of the Infowars store, which were turned over by Jones' lawyers and show how much he made every day from 2015 to 2018, show that Jones often made six-figure sales in one day.
One economist who testified at the trial told the jury that Jones turned his act into a business.
Bernard Pettingill Jr. said, "He is a very successful man."
"He spread hate speech and false information, but he made a lot of money and used that to make more money."
Pettingill Jr. thought that Jones was worth between $190 and $385 million.
When the former president ran for office in 2015, he went on Alex Jones's show, Infowars. Jones knew a good thing when he saw it.
The Huffington Post did a deep dive into Jones's finances, which he used to keep secret. They found that the Infowars store made $940,000 on the day of the 2016 US election.
The next day, the Infowars website did even better. It made a crazy $1.2 million in sales, which is a lot for a website.
During the trial, Pettingill Jr. said, "The way I see him, he didn't ride a wave, he made the wave."
Jones said in his testimony that he couldn't pay his bills if the jury gave him just $2 million in damages.
He also said that he was having trouble paying his bills after big social media sites like Facebook and Twitter banned his posts.
Pettingill Jr. said that all of that was nonsense.
Pettingill Jr. looked at several years' worth of records for Jones and the company that owns Infowars, Free Speech Systems. He said that Jones used a number of "shell" companies to hide his money.
Pettingill Jr. said that Alex Jones knows where the money is, where it went, and that he will eventually benefit from that money.
When a juror asked what the difference was between Jones' money and the money of his company, Pettingill Jr. said "Alex Jones is tied to the companies he works for. He is a business."
Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis were each given just under $US50 million in punitive and compensatory damages.
The $45.2 million in punitive damages, which is part of the total $49.3 million, may be cut down because of a Texas law.