Serena Williams Says She Tried To Deposit $1M Check At Bank

Serena Williams attends Sports Illustrated Fashionable 50 at The Sunset Room on July 18, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rachel Luna/WireImage)
Serena Williams (Photo by Rachel Luna/WireImage)

Serena Williams recently shared an amusing anecdote during her appearance on the show Hot Ones. She recounted when she attempted to deposit her first $1 million check at a bank drive-thru. Unaware that such a significant amount required an in-person visit, Williams recalled, “I got my check, and it was a million dollars. Like, okay, I’m gonna go deposit it. I went through the drive-thru… and the guy was like, ‘Uh, I think you need to come inside for this,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, okay.’”

Focus on Tennis, Not Money

Williams revealed that early in her career, she didn’t track her earnings closely. Her primary focus was on tennis and improving her skills. She explained on the show, “I never played for money, I played ’cause I loved the sport. I wanted to be the best. I wanted to win.” Reflecting on her lack of concern for her winnings, she shared, “So my tax guy, he would be like, ‘You didn’t get your money?’ and I’d be like, ‘Oh, I didn’t get that one in Zurich,’ ‘Oh, I forgot that one in Moscow’… I was just playing to win, and if I didn’t win, I wasn’t thinking. I was just so angry, that I wanted to find a way to get better and win the next time.”

Her first $1 million check taught Williams a significant lesson. “I never really spent a lot of money,” she admitted. This incident was a turning point, helping her become more aware of her finances.

Serena Williams Life Beyond Tennis

Williams retired from tennis in September 2022 but hinted at a possible return. In May 2021, she wrote on X (formerly Twitter), “I’m ready to hit some balls again,” sparking speculation among fans. Her retirement came as she decided to focus on other aspects of her life, including her family and her venture capital firm.

In a conversation with Vogue, Williams expressed her desire to evolve away from tennis. “I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me,” she shared. “I have to focus on being a mom, my spiritual goals, and finally discovering a different, but just exciting Serena. I’m gonna relish these next few weeks.”

Since stepping back from tennis, Williams has welcomed her second daughter and launched her own makeup line, Wyn Beauty. She remains active in the business world and invests in women and people of color through her ventures.

Williams will be hosting the 2024 ESPY Awards on July 11, adding another milestone to her impressive career.