Serena Williams Talks About Trying To Deposit $1M Check on ‘Hot Ones’

Serena Williams Talks About Trying To Deposit $1M Check on ‘Hot Ones’

Serena Williams shared a funny anecdote about trying to deposit a very large check at a drive-thru during her career.
Tennis great Serena Williams was beloved and respected for her drive, but in a recent interview, she shared a story about how her focus led her to have a mishap at a bank’s drive-thru window.

Williams was the guest on a recent episode of the highly popular Hot Ones series from First We Feast. During the interview, as Williams got to dig in on some spicy wings, at the 11-minute mark host Sean Evans asked: “Is it true that you rarely collected your winnings your first year on tour and then once tried unsuccessfully to cash your first million-dollar check in a drive-thru ATM?”

“Yeah, those are all true,” the 23-time Grand Slam champion confirmed. “I never played for money, I played ’cause I loved the sport. I wanted to be the best. I wanted to win.” She continued, saying: “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.”

It turned out that her focus led her to collect a very substantial amount of earnings. “I got my check and it was a million dollars,” Williams said. “Like, okay, I’m gonna go deposit it. I’d never really spent a lot of money. I was so serious. I don’t know what happened to me, I used to be serious. So I just went through the drive-thru … and the guy was like, ‘Uh, I think you need to come inside for this.’” Evans and Williams laughed as she said, “lessons to learn.”

The story was one of a few notable anecdotes that Williams shared, including a look at the stylish outfits she wore during her career including a denim suit she said was inspired by one that another tennis champion, Andre Agassi, wore on the court. Her Hot Ones appearance comes as her ESPN+ documentary series, In The Arena: Serena Williams makes its debut on Wednesday (July 10).

Photo: Erika Goldring / Getty

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