How Did Mike Tyson Manage To Blow Through $400 Million?

By on December 8, 2018 in ArticlesEntertainment

Mike Tyson is legendary for many reasons – the face tattoo, the biting off of Evander Holyfield's ear, oh, and all of the knockouts. "Iron" Mike Tyson is one of the top 15-heavyweight boxers to ever step foot into the ring. He is also legendary for his prolific spending. Tyson is estimated to have earned $400 million during his career and have had $300 million in the bank at one point. He should have been set for life. But he blew it all. Every single last dollar. He had an entourage so large it rivaled the size of a small country. He owned Siberian tigers. He had fleets of luxury vehicles, a posse of prostitutes, and a 21-bedroom mansion. Iron Mike didn't deny himself anything.

Over the course of a decade, Tyson not only blew through $300 million, but he went $50 million in debt too. How do you spend $350 million in 10 years?

Mike grew up poor in Brownsville, New York in the late 1970s. By the time he was 22 years old he was the youngest heavyweight champion of all time and a household name. How did Tyson run through all that money? He didn't have the upbringing, tools, or coping mechanisms to deal with his sudden fame, money, and attention.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Tyson made his professional debut in 1985. Life was going very well for Tyson until he lost his title to Buster Douglas in 1990. Then it all fell apart. Less than a year after losing his title, Tyson was accused of raping Desiree Washington. He was sentenced to six years in prison. He was released in 1995 after serving four years. At this time, he reportedly had $300 million in the bank.

In the first three years after getting out of prison, Tyson spent:

  • $4.5 million on cars and motorbikes (19 vehicles he bought for friends)
  • $400,000 on pigeons and a variety of big cats such as Siberian tigers
  • $300,000 on lawn care and garden maintenance alone
  • $240,000 per month for walking around money that he spent in daily life flexing
  • $230,000 on cell phones, pagers, and phone bills
  • $125,000 per year for an animal trainer to take care of the big cats
  • $100,000 per month on jewelry and clothes

During this same time, Mike bought a 21-bedroom, 24-bathroom mansion in Connecticut. The house had its own nightclub and casino. Tyson also bought homes in Maryland, Las Vegas, and Ohio. His Ohio home had gold plated furnishings and a basketball court.

Tyson is believed to have bought 111 cars over the course of his lifetime. Among those cars was a $500,000 limited edition Bentley Continental SC. Only 73 of this car was ever made. He also owned a number of Lamborghinis, Ferraris, a Mercedes-Benz 500, a Range Rover, and a 1995 Rolls Royce which he later totaled in an accident. He left that Rolls Royce at an auto repair garage and told them to keep it. Tyson also often lent his cars to friends and forgot where he'd put them or who he'd loaned them to. He sent members of his entourage out to find the missing cars.

Another legend about Tyson and his money is the time he found tens of thousands of dollars stashed in his laundry basket. He left the money there two years earlier.

One of the most outlandish purchases Tyson ever made was a $2 million golden bathtub for his first wife, actress Robin Givens.

For what it is worth, Tyson takes responsibility for his irresponsible money management. He has said that it was all his fault, but he had a great time. Tyson filed for bankruptcy in 2007. Today, Mike Tyson has a net worth of $3 million.

Articles Written by Amy Lamare
Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based writer covering business, technology, entertainment, philanthropy, and pop culture. She spent 8 1/2 years covering the entertainment industry for www.hsx.com. She has written for Los Angeles Magazine, Your Tango, Thinknum Media, and various airline magazines. Follow her on Facebook. Amy's favorite self-made billionaire is Sara Blakely.
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