$400k On Pigeons & Tigers. That's Just One Splurge That Punched Out Mike Tyson's Peak $300 Million Fortune

By on March 7, 2024 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 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. After adjusting for inflation, his peak net worth was $300 million. For mere mortals, $300 million should have been enough to set someone up for life by a factor of 10. Unfortunately for Mike, he blew the entire fortune away. Every single last dollar.


Well, here are just a few quick explanations:

  • Mike routinely traveled with 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.

In 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?

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Mike grew up poor in Brownsville, New York, in the late 1970s. By the time he was 22, he was the youngest heavyweight champion of all time and a household name. Mike did not have the upbringing, tools, or coping mechanisms to deal with sudden fame, money, and scrutiny.

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 over $100 million in the bank.

Random Expenses

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

(Photo by Gregory Bojorquez/Getty Images)

50,000 Square Foot Connecticut Mansion

In 1996, Mike paid $2.8 million for a 51,000 square foot mansion set on 17 acres in Farmington, Connecticut. Located at 50 Poplar Hill Drive, the mansion was built in 1985 by a realtor who several years later pleaded guilty to fraud and was sentenced to nine years in prison. In 1992 the home foreclose and was then bought by a bank at auction for $3.5 million. The bank took a loss in 1993 when it sold the mansion in 1993. That buyer sold the home to Mike in 1996 for $2.8 million. Mike spent millions upgrading the property. He added a nightclub that could fit 1,000 people, an indoor gym, indoor shooting range, over 100 phone extensions and an NBA-regulation-size basketball court. In 2003, amid a divorce and a bankruptcy filing, the mansion was awarded to his ex-wife Monica Turner as part of their settlement. Turner sold the home to rapper 50 Cent in 2003 for $4.1 million. 50 Cent filed for bankruptcy in July 2015. At the time he was spending $70,000 per month on utilities and maintenance for the property. After several years and further price chops, in April 2019, 50 Cent offloaded the property for $2.9 million.

Tyson also bought homes in Maryland, Las Vegas, and Ohio. His Ohio home had gold-plated furnishings and a basketball court.

Car Collection

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 these cars were 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.

One of the most famous and significant cars in Mike's collection was a Ferrari F50. Mike Tyson's Ferrari F50 is chassis #104220. Production on this model was completed on February 13, 1996. In 2001, two years before he declared bankruptcy with $23 million worth of debt, Mike sold his F50 to tech entrepreneur. In August 2022, after several other owners, this F50 sold at auction for $4.6 million.

(Photo by Martyn Lucy/Getty Images)

Other Extravagances

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.

Thankfully for Mike, in recent years, he has made a nice little financial comeback. Today, we estimate his net worth is back up in the $10 million range thanks to personal appearances, entertainment work, and a thriving marijuana business.

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