Top 15 Ways Athletes Spend Their First Million

Professional athletes are compensated particularly well for their abilities, and even those earning the least money in any professional sports league are usually still getting a salary well in excess of six figures. The combination of youth and sudden wealth is not always the best combination, and there are countless of examples of athletes spending their first million dollars on frivolous purchases.

It should be no surprise, then, that many professional athletes wind up bankrupt within a few years of retirement, and there have even been cases in which a professional sports team has had to garnish the salary of a player in order to help the player pay off outstanding debts. Even though many sports leagues now hold clinics and symposiums for players regarding wealth management, it is still hard to resist the temptation to spend that newfound wealth on something completely extravagant.

Many athletes fall prey to family and friends who see the athlete as a limitless supply of money, while others simply cannot keep their spending in check and constantly treat themselves to expensive dinners and nights out on the town. Not all athletes are guilty of wasting their money, as there are also a fair share who immediately put their earnings into low-risk and long-term investments or use their money to support a worthwhile charity. There are many different manners in which athletes spend their first million, and what follows are 15 of the more interesting things that athletes do with that first paycheck.

15 Taxes


14 Tattoos 

If you gone go hard why not go the hardest #inky #tigerstadium #maserati #donthateonthebrodie

— Jeremy Hill (@JeremyHill33) July 13, 2014

13 Sports Memorabilia

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

12 Watches

Gifts for the boy.

A post shared by Johnny Manziel (@jmanziel2) on

11 Exotic Animals

10 Boats

William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

9 The Entourage

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

8 Vacations

Guess it's impossible to enjoy the weekend and study?

A post shared by Johnny Manziel (@jmanziel2) on

7 Family Debt

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

6 Charitable Endeavors

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

5 Private Parties

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

4 House for Mom and Dad

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

3 Jewelry for Their Significant Others


A post shared by Katherine Webb-McCarron (@_katherinewebb) on

2 Cars 

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

1 Their Own House


Despite the fact that professional athletes live very unstable lives due to constant travel and the possibility of being traded or released, the first thing that they often buy is a house, and it’s frequently of the large variety. Antoine Walker, one of the more famous cautionary tales of athletes going bankrupt, detailed his own personal experience, saying, “the first thing we want to do is get the big house,” before explaining that the house was certainly not the only purchase he would make, in an interview with Walker burned through a lot of his money buying cars and homes throughout his career, but it was the gambling and the lack of financial knowledge that ultimately cost him his fortune.

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Top 15 Ways Athletes Spend Their First Million