TIME Money

Soon You’ll Be Able to Pay Bills Right Inside Gmail

US-TECHONOLOGY-GOOGLE
Jewel Samad—AFP/Getty Images Google's lead designer for "Inbox by Gmail" Jason Cornwell shows the app's functionalities on a nexus 6 android phone during a media preview in New York on October 29, 2014.

Gmail users could pay electric or telephone bills from their inbox

Google has already been experimenting with turning Gmail into a commerce platform. Now, the company may be poised to take the next step down that path by letting users pay their bills using the email service.

Re/code has viewed documents describing a new service dubbed “Pony Express” that would allow users to link up their electricity, phone and other utility bills to their Gmail account. Users would be able to pay the bills within Gmail using a credit card or a bank account withdrawal. The bills would be bundled together in a special Pony Express folder within Gmail or Google’s new email app Inbox, according to the documents.

A Google spokeswoman declined to comment.

Launching a bill-paying service would give Google more access to users’ personal and financial information. It would also keep users more tightly tethered to Google’s services. However, many utilities already offer online payment systems, so it’s not clear whether people would adopt a Google version of online billing en masse.

MONEY women

10 Countries That Put Women on Cash Before the U.S.

The U.S. lags far behind several other nations when it comes to recognizing female leaders on paper currency.

As a campaign to get a woman on the $20 bill picks up steam, you might be surprised to learn just how far behind the times the United States is compared with other countries.

At least 10 other nations have already recognized female leaders on their banknotes, including Syria, the Philippines, and Israel.

Click through the gallery below to see which countries made the list. Then take MONEY’s poll to vote on the woman you’d most like to see on American currency. If you need inspiration, check out WomenOn20s official site to learn more about candidates like Susan B. Anthony, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, and Sojourner Truth.

Read next: VOTE: Who Should Be the First Woman on a Modern Dollar Bill?

  • Syria

    Queen Zenobia
    Khaled Al-Hariri—Reuters/Corbis

    Syria’s current image is that of a nation wracked by civil war and struggling against the violent militant group ISIS. But it outpaced the United States on one sign of social progress: recognizing women on official currency.

    Syrian Queen Zenobia, known for fighting back against Roman colonizers in the second century AD, appears on the 500-pound note.

     

  • Philippines

    Philipine 500 and 1000 peso notes
    Edwin Tuyay—Bloomberg via Getty Images

    During the mid-1980s, the Philippines introduced a 500-peso note featuring prominent senator Benigno Aquino Jr., who had been assassinated in 1983. His wife, Corazon Aquino, went on to become the first female president of the Philippines—and the first female president in Asia, for that matter—and her image was added to the bill after she died in 2009. Early 20th-century suffragette Josefa Llanes Escoda also appears (alongside two men) on the 1000-peso note.

  • Turkey

    Nick Fielding—Alamy

    In Turkey, the current 50-lira note features turn-of-the-century novelist and women’s rights activist Fatma Aliye Topuz on its reverse side. (The first president of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, appears on the front of every bill.)

  • Mexico

    500 Mexican pesos notes on a table with traditional Mexican ornament. The note has the portrait of the painter Diego Riviera on one side and Frida Kahlo on the other.
    Daniel Sambraus—Getty Images

    Mexico’s 500-peso note shows muralist Diego Rivera on the front and his wife and fellow artist Frida Kahlo on the back. Her image is a 1940 self-portrait, alongside a famous painting of hers from 1949, “Love’s Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Myself, Diego and Señor Xólotl.” Seventeenth-century Mexican writer Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz appears on the 200-peso note.

  • Argentina

    Eva Peron (1919-1952) on 2 Pesos 2001 Banknote from Argentina. Second wife of President Juan Peron.
    Georgios Kollidas—Alamy

    Argentina’s beloved former First Lady Eva Perón—widely known by her nickname “Evita”—appears on the current 100-peso bill. The 20-peso note depicts 19th-century Argentine political activist Manuela Rosas along with her father, politician Juan Manuel de Rosas.

  • New Zealand

    New Zealand 10 Ten Dollar Bank Note
    Glyn Thomas—Alamy

    Like many other former British colonies, New Zealand features Queen Elizabeth II on its currency—the 20-dollar note to be precise. But Kiwi banknotes also honor suffragette Kate Sheppard, who in 1893 helped New Zealand become the first country in the world with universal voting rights for both men and women. Her image appears on the 10-dollar bill.

  • Israel

    Wikimedia Commons A portrait of Israeli poet Rachel Bluwstein, who lived from 1890 to 1931.

    The Bank of Israel recently announced that it will be adding images of two female Israeli writers to forthcoming 20- and 100-New Shekel banknotes, respectively. The former will feature turn-of-the-century poet Rachel Bluwstein, and the latter author, poet, and literary expert Leah Goldberg, who died in 1970.

  • Sweden

    Artwork showing the designs of new folding Swedish krona, or kronor, currency notes due to be issued in 2014 stands on display at the Riksbank in Stockholm, Sweden, on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.
    Bloomberg via Getty Images—Bloomberg via Getty Images

    Imagery on the krona celebrates several women in Sweden’s history. Currently there’s Selma Lagerlöf—the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature—on the 20-krona note, as well as 19th-century opera singer Jenny Lind on the 50-krona bill. Starting this fall, a new line of banknotes will feature Pippi Longstocking author Astrid Lindgren on the 20-krona, 20th-century soprano Birgit Nilsson on the 500-krona, and classic film actress Greta Garbo on the 100-krona note.

  • Australia

    An Australian one-hundred dollar banknote
    Carla Gottgens—Bloomberg via Getty Images Dame Nellie Melba on the Australian 100-dollar banknote

    Australia has one woman on either the front or back of every banknote currently in circulation. They include Queen Elizabeth II on the front of the $5 bill, social reformer and writer Dame Mary Gilmore on the back of the $10, 19th-century businesswoman Mary Reibey on the front of the $20, politician and social worker Edith Cowan on the back of the $50, and turn-of-the-century soprano Dame Nellie Melba on the front of the $100 note.

  • England

    Jane Austen to feature on banknote. Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, with the ten pound note featuring Jane Austen at the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton, near Alton. The Austen note will be issued within a year of the Churchill £5 note, which is targeted for issue during 2016.
    Chris Ratcliffe—PA Wire/Press Association Images The new Jane Austen £10 note will look like this.

    If featuring women on currency were a contest, the Bank of England would win, with every note since 1960 depicting Queen Elizabeth II on the front. Past bills featured nurse and statistician Florence Nightingale on the back, current 5-pound notes show 19th-century social reformer Elizabeth Fry, and the next 10-pound bill will celebrate famed 19th-century author Jane Austen.

TIME apps

You Asked: How Can My Phone Help Me Split the Bill?

TIME.com stock photos Money Dollar Bills
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Plenty of apps can make it easier to send money from one person to another

Whether it’s splitting a tab, paying someone back for a few rounds at the bar, or negotiating six months of electricity bill back payments with your roommates, there isn’t always an easy way to square away your debts with friends. You never want to be that person who breaks out the checkbook at dinner.

But you’re in luck: There are plenty of great digital payment apps that can make your life a lot easier.

The most obvious choice for the job is the PayPal app. Once you sign in to your PayPal account, you can link your card or bank account when prompted. If you want to add a second card, you’ll find the option to do so on the app’s home page. In order to transfer funds to a friend’s account, select the option on the bottom left of the app that says “Send.” If your friend also uses PayPal, you send money using their email address.

However, PayPal knocks you with a 2.9% fee for sending money via a credit or debit card account instead of sending from a PayPal account to a PayPal account. To avoid that fee, check out Venmo, an increasing popular mobile payment app that doesn’t knock you with a fee if you link it with a debit card (using a credit card involves a 3% fee).

When you first open Venmo, you’ll be prompted to enter your bank info — stick with a debit card to avoid that fee. If you give Venmo access to your Facebook friends list, you’ll be able to select from a list of your friends already using Venmo, thanks to integration with Facebook’s social graph. You can also search for people on Venmo who aren’t already your Facebook friends by clicking the new transaction button—the upper rightmost gray button—and then typing a name.

Once you have selected your recipient, you’ll be prompted with a number pad on which you’ll be able to decide how much to transfer. Venmo also lets you request payments from people — say, that roommate who still hasn’t doled out his share of last night’s Thai delivery order. If you have somebody you really trust, like a significant other, you can let them take money from you without asking — sort of like having a joint bank account — but that’s probably not the smartest thing to do with casual friends.

Venmo keeps money you receive in a separate account; you can either hang on to that cash to use via Venmo or “cash out” and have it hit your regular bank account in 24 hours.

It’s worth noting here that Venmo recently had a security scare, but it’s taking steps to address those issues. There are other cash-sending alternatives, too: Mobile messaging app Snapchat recently added “Snapcash,” a payment feature that integrates with Square, while Facebook is rolling out a payment option in its Messenger app as well. Which app you use ultimately depends on which ones most of your friends or roommates are using and which one you feel most comfortable linking to your bank accounts.

TIME Money

Our March Madness Office Pools Should All Be Legal

hands-holding-cash
Getty Images

Zocalo Public Square is a not-for-profit Ideas Exchange that blends live events and humanities journalism.

The U.S. government doesn’t see it that way, but everyone could benefit from the $9 million Americans wager on college hoops

Roughly 40 million Americans are expected to fill out a total of 70 million brackets and bet $9 billion on March Madness this month, according to data from the American Gaming Association.

And all of them will be criminals in violation of up to three federal laws.

The most commonly violated law will be the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which passed through Congress in 1992 at the behest of the four major pro sports leagues (NBA, MLB, NFL, and NHL) and the NCAA. It effectively prohibits sports gambling outside of the four states that had previously allowed it.

Yet it should surprise no one to hear that betting on the Super Bowl or March Madness doesn’t take place only in Nevada (the only state where it’s legal to make a bet on a single game), and that Federal agents don’t bother to descend on your workplace to arrest everyone who entered the office pool.

Gambling—largely legal and heavily regulated throughout Europe—has swept American sports culture. Lines and spreads are impossible to miss in media coverage. The most popular sportswriter in America, Bill Simmons, hosts a weekly NFL gambling podcast where he discusses the bets he’d “place if gambling were legal” (wink, wink). Sports betting is no longer some underground habit. It’s mainstream.

Gallup polls say 17 percent of Americans have wagered on sports in the last 12 months. In 2010, the FBI spent taxpayer resources to arrest 10,000 of those gambling Americans. Instead of spending some rounding up a few of us gamblers, imagine how much money Washington could collect for more worthwhile pursuits –like healthcare and education, and even gambling addiction treatments – if it legalized and taxed our sports betting.

Let’s be clear: the debate over gambling legalization is not a debate over whether or not to allow gambling. That’s already happening, whether you like it or not. It’s estimated that the amount of money wagered illegally on this year’s Super Bowl was 38 times greater than the amount wagered legally in Vegas casinos.

With the explosion in fantasy sports—many of which are played for money—over the last decade, more and more Americans are coming face to face with the folly of gambling “prohibition.” Even a strong supporter of the initial PASPA bill, Arizona senator John McCain, is now calling on Congress to rethink the law.

The discussion has become so animated that NBA commissioner Adam Silver penned a November New York Times op-ed arguing for a Congressional framework for states to legalize and regulate gambling, taking the activity take illegal gambling “out of the underground and into the sunlight.” Silver doubled down on these words in a February ESPN The Magazine story, calling himself not necessarily a gambling advocate but merely a “realist.”

Anti-gambling proponents will argue that legalized gambling will lead to more match-fixing and point-shaving – akin to what happened with the University of San Diego basketball team during the 2009-10 season. This could not be further from the truth.

Toreros guard Brandon Johnson was able to go undetected taking money under the table from bettors to deliberately not cover point spreads for so long specifically because gambling activity in California is kept in the dark. Had such odd fluctuations in San Diego lines been in the view of the public and regulatory officials, the shaving would have been nipped in the bud much sooner. In fact, there’s a good chance the greater risk of detection would have prevented any game manipulation attempts in the first place.

And in the pro ranks, athletes making millions simply aren’t going to risk their already lucrative careers for a tiny cut in match-fixing bribes. In any case, the general principle applies that it is easier to police and regulate activity happening in the open than what takes place in the shadows.

Some anti-gambling proponents are also concerned about the potential for increases in problem gambling. Given the extremely easy access to sports books and bookies, not to mention office pools and fantasy leagues, most experts are unconvinced legalization would actually increase gambling much, if at all. If you have a problem gambling, you’re already susceptible.

If anything, legalized gambling would remove many of the stigmas that prevent problem gamblers from speaking out about their issues and getting them the help they need sooner. Also, legal sports books do not allow wagers on credit, which can lead to dangerous situations in which bettors become heavily indebted to bookies.

Making bets on the Super Bowl or March Madness is a form of entertainment that is far more social and interesting than buying a state-sanctioned lottery ticket. Millions of Americans engage in this entertainment without harming anyone, including themselves. And as a society, haven’t we reached a consensus that we don’t ban things because a few of us will become addicted to them? Or would you also embrace prohibition for fast food, Netflix, and Candy Crush too?

Gambling is here to stay, and it is deeply rooted in our sports fan culture. Acknowledging this reality once and for all would be a smart bet.

Jim Pagels is a regular contributor to Forbes whose work has appeared in Reason, FiveThirtyEight, ESPN, and The Atlantic. He wrote this for Zocalo Public Square.

Read next: The Staggering Numbers—and Dollars—Behind March Madness

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TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME technology

You Can Soon Send Money to Your Friends on Facebook

The free money transfers will be linked to users’ Visa or MasterCard debit cards

Facebook wants your debit card information.

The social media giant announced Tuesday it will soon allow users to securely send and receive money via Facebook’s standalone Messenger app. The free service, which is being released gradually to U.S. users over the coming months, will require a linked Visa or MasterCard debit card that has been issued by a U.S. bank.

Facebook said the updated Messenger app will include a “$” icon on the screen that will lead to a payments screen when tapped, allowing users to enter the amount of money they wish to send to a specific friend. Both users involved in a transaction would need to have a debit card linked to their Facebook accounts to make the transfer.

As an added layer of security, Facebook said users will have to create a PIN that must be entered before a money transfer can be made, while Apple iOS users can also enable Touch ID. Facebook added that users’ debit card information will be “kept in a secured environment that is separate from other parts of Facebook,” and that a “team of anti-fraud specialists” will monitor the platform for suspicious activity.

Tuesday’s announcement should not come as a huge surprise to anyone following Facebook, which hired PayPal president David Marcus last June to run its mobile messaging products. CEO Mark Zuckerberg also later confirmed that there would eventually be “some overlap” between the company’s messaging and payments platforms during an earnings call.

The new mobile payments service will pit Facebook against other tech companies that have already dug out space in that market, including Venmo and Square, which launched a partnership with ephemeral-messaging service Snapchat last fall called Snapcash.

Apple has also spent the past several months building up the support network for its mobile payments platform, Apple Pay, which allows users to pay for products in stores using their Apple devices.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

TIME Money

12 Mental Money Traps You Should Avoid

money-pocket-hole
Getty Images

Most of us were brought up poor or in the middle class — and then continue the rest of our lives plagued by the thoughts, ideas and actions of the poor and the middle class. If you were brought up like I was, by parents that had great intentions but few ways to create financial freedom, then there is a good chance you are still trapped by mental money traps that continue to hold you prisoner.

No one would deny that the wealthy think and operate differently regarding money, wealth, finances and investing. Here are some common mental money traps:

1. “I just want enough to be comfortable.”

At the core of the middle class is some idea that they can somehow find this place of comfort, which becomes a compromise for any possibility of financial freedom. Consider that a significant number of people save little money for retirement. This has caused masses of people to be unable to quit working at retirement age, because they are without enough money to take care of themselves during economic contractions.

Related: The 12-Step Plan for Creating a Rich Life

2. “I need to make money.”

It’s actually against the law to make money — that is the job of the government, which over the last decade has been more and more willing to manufacture money in unjustified amounts. This idea — that you need to make money to have it — limits you to believing you must trade time for money. Quit thinking about making money and think in terms of collecting it. When you trade something of value with the public you will get money in return.

3. “Bigger isn’t better.”

Wrong. Bigger is better and more is glory. Quit thinking little. The best companies in the world are big. Staying small takes a lot of energy. I talk about this in The 10X Rule — go 10 times bigger than you think is necessary. It’s more fun and it gives you a better chance of succeeding.

Over the last 12 months I have interviewed more than 50 very successful entrepreneurs that run million-dollar companies to $100 million companies that started with nothing. Almost every one of them shared with me that their biggest regret was not thinking bigger from the beginning.

4. “More money, more problems.”

This is simply an idea that those without money use to justify having less and being broke. If more money is more problems, then bring on the problems, because I tried being broke and that was more than just a problem. Quit trying to make rich ugly — it’s not.

The truth is the more money you have, the more control and choices you have over every aspect of your life. If you are sitting in a first class seat, it doesn’t mean you won’t have a drunk sitting next to you. Buying your own jet allows you to control who gets on it, but now you have to hire two pilots, a mechanic and feed the airplane. More money means new problems, not more problems.

5. “It takes money to make money.”

The reality is more than three quarters of all millionaires today are first generation millionaires. That means that ordinary people got rich because they had the courage to follow up on their ideas.

The phrase, “it takes money to make money” is completely incorrect. It takes money to make more money. While later in life the rich use their money to create wealth, in the beginning stages it only takes courage and persistence to create money. This belief that you first need money makes you a victim and gives you no way out.

I started with no money, in fact, I was in debt. At the age of 25 I was broke, by the time I was 35 I was in a position to never be broke again.

6. “Money doesn’t grow on trees.”

The person that commonly throws this phrase around is suggesting money is limited and scarce. There is something near $134,000,000,000,000 (trillion) on this planet — most of which is merely represented by digits in bank accounts, investing accounts and the like. The only shortage of money on this planet is in the mind of those that don’t have money.

Related: How to Spend Your Way to Wealth

7. “Another day, another dollar.”

The job force of America is trading time for money every day. Is your time worth $10 an hour or $50 an hour? The reality is no matter how much you get you are still selling time and you only have so much of it.

The rich exchange dollars for time because they know time is more valuable than money. Unwilling to trade money, the average person believes the only way to make more money is to work more hours. Big money requires thinking about money without time considerations — think broad money.

8. “Money is the root of all evil.”

The actual saying is “the love of money is the root of all evil.” It has been passed down inaccurately and become misunderstood that money is somehow evil. Rich is right, not wrong. Bill Gates told a college class, “if you are born poor it’s not your fault, if you stay poor it is.”

I believe it is evil to not be able to provide for my family, fund my church, take a trip, grow my business and feed my dreams.

9. “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

Believe this and you will never have financial freedom. A penny saved is a penny and if you spend your life thinking about pennies you will never create financial freedom. Saving in itself is not bad, but the masses are so focused on saving they never advance their money. No one ever got rich saving money, they just got old.

10. “Money can’t buy you happiness.”

I never met a rich person that was trying to get happy while they were trying to get rich — they have nothing to do with one another. In fact, my entire life I have not been seeking happiness. I have been seeking a meaningful life where I am free to do what I want to do and what I love the most.

I know happy and unhappy people. My wife is the happiest person I know and is happy regardless of how much money she has. I assure you she still likes having the freedom to spend money without constant worry. There is no way money can make you happy or unhappy — it’s just money.

If you are a wanker, then you will be a wanker with or without money. If you are going to be unhappy, don’t be broke too.

11. “A penny for your thoughts.”

This is the kind of damaging, freely thrown-around idea that shows how little people value their time and money. I own four businesses. They all started with ideas and were followed up with actions. The guy that created velcro, the founder of Starbucks, Ted Turner of CNN, Henry Ford and the likes all had ideas and they didn’t trade them for pennies.

Quit thinking about pennies and quit demeaning your ideas. Your possibilities are limited only by thoughts, ideas and actions.

12. “Rich people are selfish.”

I must be honest, I have been selfish at times in my life so that I would never have to depend on anyone financially. My dad died when I was 10 and left my mom with just enough money to get her three boys fed, clothed and educated. She had to be a bit selfish so that she could take care of us.

It takes a bit of selfishness and self-esteem to prioritize taking care of yourself and creating financial freedom so that you don’t become a problem for others. If you don’t think enough of your own finances how are you ever going to make the difficult decisions and necessary choices for your spouse, children, community, and your future?

You better get somewhat selfish until you have something to share — whether it is opportunity, money or wisdom. I’m sick of people saying, “If I had his money I would help so many people,” but they can’t help anyone financially, because they never focused on their own finances. They then live a life talking about what they would do, and not what they can do.

The fact is if you are already rich, you need to up your game and start thinking the way the super wealthy do. If not, maybe it’s time to change the way you think about money.

Any rich person will tell you anyone can get rich. Any wealthy person will tell you the same. Get rid of the mental money traps and get your friends, family and associates on the same page with you. Remember, you are surrounded by limited thinking — 76 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. It seems like a bunch of people have the wrong information.

Related: Money Really Does Buy Happiness, According to New AARP Study

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com.

Read next: The 5 Numbers You Need to Know to Get a Handle on Your Money

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TIME Education

These Are the Most Expensive Graduate Degrees in America

See which graduate programs cost the most in different fields of study

Facing declining application rates and a fast-changing media environment, Columbia University is shrinking its journalism school by cutting staff and reducing class sizes. But the program’s total cost — $92,933 — doesn’t seem to be downsizing any time soon.

Overall, grad school prices in the U.S. have been rising for decades with no ceiling in sight. The rising costs force a perennial question: are graduate degrees actually worth the money?

The job market has become increasingly cut-throat, with many positions requiring professional degrees. And making would-be graduate students’ decision making process even more difficult is that some of the top-ranked programs, like Columbia’s journalism program, are also some of the most expensive, according to the U.S. News & World Report.

Above, have a look at the costs for America’s most expensive graduate programs in business, medicine, law and engineering. The most expensive college and private school are also included, too.

 

TIME psychology

This Is Why You Overshop in Ikea

We take you through the popular furniture and home goods store to show you how the layout affects your buying habits

It’s easy to overshop. But at Ikea, it’s almost impossible not to spend more than you originally budgeted.

That’s because the Swedish furniture retailer designs its stores to trigger impulse purchases while making it difficult for shoppers to make a mad dash for the exits. It’s a way to take advantage of Americans’ changing shopping habits, which TIME’s Josh Sanburn detailed in this week’s magazine.

Our current phase of overconsumption began about 30 years ago, when Americans began committing close to half of their annual expenditures to nonnecessities. It was the beginning of a gradual decline in the cost of consumer goods, the growth of everyday credit-card use and the rise of big-box stores and discount retailers that pushed their way into communities nationwide, forcing down prices and profits for those competing around them.

In the past decade, the cost of cell phones, toys, computers and televisions has plunged, thanks in part to overseas manufacturing. The rise of “fast fashion”–popularized by the growth of clothing outlets like Gap, Forever 21 and American Eagle selling $10 T-shirts and $30 jeans–is now driven by low-cost imports H&M and Uniqlo. Today the average U.S. household has about 248 garments and 29 pairs of shoes. It purchases, on average, 64 pieces of clothing and seven pairs of shoes annually, at a total cost of $1,141 a year, or $16 per item.

“When the question is why do we have so much stuff, one reason is because we can,” says Annie Leonard, executive director of the environmental group Greenpeace USA and the creator of The Story of Stuff, an animated video about excessive consumerism. “For a huge percentage of this country, there is no longer an economic obstacle to having the illusion of luxury. It’s just that this stuff is so cheap.”

Watch the video above to go inside one Ikea store in Brooklyn and see how its strategy works, and read more here.

Read next: My House Is Ground Zero in the Clutter Wars

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TIME Boxing

Mayweather, Pacquiao Begin Countdown to Their Big Fight

"You get to this level where you're making nine figures in 36 minutes"

(LOS ANGELES) — Manny Pacquiao was out walking the red carpet by the time Floyd Mayweather Jr. arrived, fashionably late for their first appearance together to promote a fight that really needs no promoting.

But it didn’t take long Wednesday for Mayweather to put the fight into perspective in a way that only a fighter nicknamed “Money” can.

“You get to this level where you’re making nine figures in 36 minutes,” Mayweather said, “and you have to be a winner.”

Mayweather had the math right, though he declined to say just how much he will make in the May 2 fight that has stirred excitement far beyond the boxing community. He will get 60 percent of the purse in what is expected to be boxing’s richest fight ever, a haul that could exceed $120 million for Mayweather alone.

Pacquiao won’t do badly, either, in a fight that was five years in the making and will break records in another way — it will cost fans more than any other fight in history to watch both at the MGM Grand arena or in the comfort of their living rooms.

At the only press conference the fighters will do prior to the week of the fight, promoters announced that tickets would range from $1,500 in the upper reaches of the MGM Garden to $7,500 at ringside. The pay-per-view price wasn’t announced, but is expected to be in the $90-100 range.

They may have to reach deep into their pockets to afford it, but there’s little doubt that boxing fans will buy it. They want to see what Mayweather and Pacquiao say they are eager to show — the two biggest draws in boxing settling things between them once and for all in the ring.

“We don’t want to leave a question mark in the minds of fans of boxing,” said Pacquiao, from the Philippines. “It’s also very important this fight is for the honor of my country.”

If the interest in the press conference at a downtown theater was any indication, the fight is already on its way to record business. More than 700 credentials were issued for the event, and both fighters walked a red carpet lined by photographers and video cameras that was worthy of the Academy Awards.

Mayweather came late, though he could walk over from his condo next door. The pay-per-view king was businesslike and relatively subdued, with nothing bad to say about Pacquiao or anyone in his camp.

“It’s always good to have the best fight the best,” Mayweather said. “That’s what’s so intriguing about this match up.”

Mayweather said he was adamant about making the fight, pestering manager Al Haymon to get it done. But the biggest bout in recent history still may not have happened if not for a chance meeting between Mayweather and Pacquiao at a Miami Heat basketball game in January — a meeting that took place only because a big storm on the East Coast delayed Pacquiao’s flight.

Mayweather went to Pacquiao’s hotel suite afterward and the two talked and decided the fight had to be made.

“I didn’t say a lot of words because I didn’t want to say a mistake,” Pacquiao said. “He said there’s an A-side and a B-side and the purse would be 40-60. That’s enough to put me in the B-side.”

Mayweather said the fight reminded him of when he was young and Marvin Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard fought in a huge middleweight title match in 1987. Mayweather said he wondered then how there could ever be a fight as big as that one.

Now he’s in a fight that will be bigger, if only because technology has advanced far enough to sell it to almost every home in the country.

“It’s all about timing and I think we couldn’t choose a better time,” Mayweather said. “This is a fight the world can’t miss. This is an unbelievable matchup.”

Both fighters went out of their way to be polite and respectful to each other. Mayweather also had good things to say about Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum, who he often said he would never work with again after being promoted early in his career by Arum.

About the only one not following the script was Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach, who said his fighter will have an easier time against Mayweather than he would have if the fight was made five years ago because Mayweather’s legs are slowing and he can’t move as well as he used to.

“We have to dominate him in the first round and take him out of his comfort zone right away,” Roach said. “Our game plan is to win each round, one at a time.”

Like his fighter, Roach will earn some big money from the bout. He may need it, because Pacquiao is charging him $5 for using a certain swear word that the trainer can’t stop using.

Before the press conference began, Roach was already down $30.

“Salary reduction,” Pacquiao said, laughing as he patted Roach on the knee.

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