Big Bucks In Less Known Sports
NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and PGA make millions of dollars due to their athletic abilities and enjoy the admiration of fans around the world. You may not have known, however, that athletes in lesser known sports are highly paid as well. Although they do not receive all of the national attention of their more famous counterparts, they are able to make a nice living toiling away in anonymity.
You may not have known it, but professional bowling stars are multimillionaires. Walter Ray Williams Jr. has made over $4.2 million dollars in his bowling career. He has the most wins in the Professional Bowling Association's (PBA) history with 47 tour wins. Bowling has produced other multimillionaires such as former PBA Tour champion Pete Weber. Weber has earned over $3.2 million in his playing career.
Champion dart players like Phil Taylor have made a very nice living in relative obscurity. The English dart superstar has won an impressive 15 Professional Dart Championships and over 150 professional tournaments throughout his illustrious career. Taylor has been rewarded handsomely for winning 15 of the last 21 PDC Championships earning over $5 million pounds in career earnings.
Table tennis is full of great players such as Ma Long and Wang Hao of China. Long and Hao are the number one and two ranked players in the world. They have both won the International Table Tennis Federation's (ITTF) Pro Tour Grand Finals Championship. Their reward for winning first place in the ITTF Men's Singles Championship was $40,000. Table tennis players can win purses ranging from $2,800 to $33,000 for winning tournaments during the season.
Tony Hawk, Ryan Sheckler and Paul Rodriguez Jr. have become very wealthy men by skateboarding. Hawk has built a $200 million dollar empire and is the highest paid extreme sports star generating $12 million dollars a year in income off of skateboarding, clothing apparel and videogames. Skateboarder Ryan Sheckler earned $5 million in 2008 and scored a reality show on MTV. Paul Rodriguez Jr. earned over $2 million dollars last year and has his own Nike shoe and a clothing line.
The Indian Premier League is home to some of the richest cricket players in the world. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the wealthiest earning over $10 million dollars a year. He recently signed a two-year, $42 million dollar marketing deal to endorse 22 different products. Indian superstar Sachin Tendulkar earned over $8 million dollars last year. Many cricket players earn well over a million dollars a season. These players make over $100,000 per three-hour contest.
Million dollar anglers came about in the '90s and today there are more than a few millionaires in the fishing world. Three-time Bassmaster Classic champ Kevin VanDam has made over $4.7 million dollars in earnings throughout his career. FLW Champ David Dudley has made $1.7 million dollars during his pro career. Angler Skeet Reese has accumulated $2.3 million dollars during his 13-year career. Michael Iaconelli and Gerald Swindle are millionaire anglers as well.