‘Shark Tank’s’ Mark Cuban Treated Himself to This When He First Became a Millionaire

Mark Cuban of ABC’s Shark Tank has built a fortune that now registers in the billions. The savvy investor often shares of his journey to success which included long grueling work days, no vacations, and eating on the cheap with delectables like bologna sandwiches.

When the reality star was able to call himself a ‘millionaire,’ Cuban decided to allow himself a splurge with this as his first big purchase.

“Shark Tank’s” Mark Cuban | Eric McCandless via Getty Images

Practicing what he preaches

Cuban stresses the requirement of hard work when it comes to building a business. He modeled this practice early on in his own start-up. “I was relentless in learning new tech as it came out. If it had anything to do with the PC or networking industry I was on top of it,” Cuban told Entrepreneur in 2012. “I bought manuals. I read every book and magazine. Then I would get involved with industry conferences and put myself out there.”

The Shark Tank investor implements his work ethic at home as well, making sure that his kids follow suit. “I’m not the dad that comes home with a ton of presents. I am the dad that says, ‘Pick that up. Take that; put it in the sink. No, you have to earn that,’” Cuban said, as reported by Business Insider . “I want them to recognize that the only thing special about themselves is what they make for themselves. They have to be themselves… They have to be adults and they have to carry their own weight.”

Cuban shares that he had to make plenty of sacrifices in order to achieve success. “I gave up a lot, personally, early on to try to accomplish my goals, knowing that if I ever reach the levels of success even close to where I ended up, I was just gonna have fun,” he said, according to CNBC.

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Season 10 here we come !

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That first big purchase

In 1990, Cuban was having a celebratory dinner with friends after just selling his first business, MicroSolutions, to CompuServe for a reported $6 million, as reported by CNBC. His fellow diners started inquiring about his plan for his new nest egg. “They asked me what I wanted to do with the money I just had gotten,” Cuban shared.

It took Cuban some time to ponder some options, but he made a decision by the end of the meal. Since he hadn’t taken a vacation in years, Cuban realized it was time to see the world. “I told them I wanted a lifetime pass on [American Airlines] so I could go anywhere anytime,” he revealed.

CNBC reports that in 1981, American Airlines introduced the lifetime unlimited AAirpass, a ticket to fly anywhere as often as you wanted for the price of $250,000. By 1990, the cost was a whomping $600K and included a companion ticket.

“We were at an old school steakhouse that had phones at the tables,” Cuban explains to CNBC Make It. “So I used the phone to call [American Airlines] and asked them if they sold life time passes… I guessed/calculated that my predicted cost per mile would be 12 cents. That was a good deal to me. So I bought it.”

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Crushed but oddly satisfied :)

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No regrets

Now that Cuban’s millions have grown into billions, he doesn’t need the unlimited pass since he has his own private plane. The tech guru, who also owns the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, still looks back at his initial splurge as one of the “most fun, best business decisions I ever made,” he said, according to CNBC.

While he doesn’t know exactly how many places he visited, Cuban can estimate that he had his fill. “I don’t know the number,” he revealed. “I went everywhere.”