Three years ago Erik Finman made a bet with his parents. He had just dropped out of high school, finding it a waste of time, and was being taught at home.

If he was a millionaire by the time he turned 18, his parents said, they would not force him to go to university.

Last week Mr Finman declared victory.

“I won the million dollar bet I had with my parents!” he announced on Tuesday.

“Grateful to all the friends, family, and mentors along the way.”

The teenager’s story has captivated America, delighting people with its mix of childhood ambition, entrepreneurial skills and hard work. Mr Finman has been celebrated on news channels, and lauded in the tech community. 

For his story is little short of remarkable.


The tale began in 2011, when he was 12, and his grandmother gave him $1,000.

Mr Finman, whose parents Paul and Lorna met at Stanford University in the 1980s, when Paul was getting his PhD in electrical engineering and Lorna was getting hers in physics, took the cash and invested it in Bitcoin, following a tip from his brother Scott.

The Finman siblings, three brothers, admit to being fiendishly competitive. Erik describes his family as being the “Elon Musk version of the Kardashians” – both his older brothers work in tech and engineering, and the youngest Finman was frustrated by school.

“I was a failure by most metrics,” 

he has said of that time.

“I wasn’t the most studious of teenagers, I played Call of Duty and I snuck in Grand Theft Auto so my parents didn’t see.

“My life was pretty average at that point. No matter how hard I tried, it was to no avail. I still got Cs, I still was afraid to talk my teachers who made my failures seem like a bad thing and I just wasn’t motivated.”

He claimed one of his teachers told him he would never amount to anything, so he should drop out of school and work at McDonald’s.


Micheal Kolawale

Writer at Worth of Mouth
I write within the trending news and success stories department. In this role I aspire to highlight the achievements of our generation which tend to go unnoticed because of their seemingly small significance compared to news of our imcomptence and negativity. I hope to do so in a way which is pleasing to read and changes the way you think about approach the barriers you face in life.
Micheal Kolawale
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