Tennis legend Serena Williams confirms she once tried to cash $1 million check at bank drive-thru

July 8, 2024
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Tennis legend Serena Williams has made millions over the course of her illustrious career, and she admitted trying to cash one of those checks at a drive-thru ATM. 

Yes, Williams confirmed on the popular show “Hot Ones,” that the story of her trying to cash a $1 million check at a bank’s drive-thru ATM was 100% true. 

“I never really spent a lot of money,” she told host Sean Evans. “I was just so serious. I don’t know what happened to me. I used to be serious.”

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Serena Williams in 2023

Tennis legend Serena Williams has made millions over the course of her illustrious career, and she admitted trying to cash one of those checks at a drive-thru ATM.  (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

“So, I just went to the drive-thru, and the guys was like, ‘Uh, I think you need to come inside for this,’” Williams added. 

Williams made an immense impact on tennis and women’s sports in general with her dominance on the court. With that success came many millions, as the 23-time major champion earned $94.8 million over her career, and that’s without the many endorsements she’s acquired over that span. 

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Williams is the highest-paid female tennis player of all-time, and with that came moments like these, which taught some valuable life lessons. 

During the interview, Williams also noted how she never played the game for money. 

Serena Williams in Florida

Serena Williams is the highest-paid female tennis player of all-time. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)

“I played because I loved the sport,” she said instead. “I wanted to be the best. I wanted to win. I didn’t even know at the time if I wanted to be the best. I just wanted to win.

“My tax guy, he would be like, ‘You didn’t get your money,’ and I was like, ‘You didn’t get your money,’ and I would be like, ‘Oh, I didn’t get that one in Zurich, I forgot that one in Moscow.’ I was just playing to win, and if I didn’t win, I was just not thinking. I was just so angry I wanted to just figure out a way to get better and win the next time.”

Williams, 42, has retired from tennis, focusing more time now on her family with husband Alexis Ohanian and their two daughters, 6-year-old Olympia and 11-month-old Adria. 

Serena Williams on the red carpet

According to Forbes, Serena Williams’ net worth is $290 million.  (Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty Images)

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According to Forbes, Williams’ net worth is $290 million. 

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