If you are a millennial or from the older generation, you probably learnt that an individual can only make millions through investing, working multiple high-paying jobs, or inheritance. While it’s true that the majority of millionaires/billionaires we know today made their fortunes using the stated methods, others have done so through unimaginable methods. We discuss some of them here.

1. Recycling Paper

Zhang Ying, one of the wealthiest people in China, made millions from recycling paper. This self-made billionaire noticed that Chinese paper products are of poor quality, so he created a company that recycles and manufactures packaging paper.

She first based her business in China, which exports many products, hence the need for packaging materials before she then expanded to the West. She marketed her products using the tagline, “Queen of Trash”.

2. Treasure Hunting

A treasure hunter known as Mel Fisher once stumbled across the sunken Nuestra Señora de Atocha in the Florida Keys, catapulting him to millionaire status in a night. Even though the state of Florida seized the assets worth over $450 million almost immediately, the US Supreme Court awarded Mel with three-quarters of the fortune, which was still a lot of money.

3. Playing Video Games

Not long ago, video games were mainly a pastime or a way of bonding with friends. In fact, parents used to bash their kids and ask them to go outside and touch the grass. Today, playing video games is an actual career, and people are making millions from it.

A famous example is PewDiePie, a YouTuber and gamer who has earned more than $50 million from playing Minecraft and streaming it to viewers on various social media channels. Then there’s also Richard Tyler and Shroud, who have minted more than $20 million from playing video games.

4. Creating Dog Goggles

While playing frisbee with her dog, Roni Di Lullo noticed that the sun interfered with her furry friend’s vision, making it miss the catch, so she embarked on creating goggles for her dog. This invention was widely embraced by k9 units, and Roni obtained a patent for it. Roni Di Lullo’s invention brings her $3 million every year.

5. Can Collection

After the passing of Curt Degerman, affectionately known as “Tin Can Curt, his family discovered a fortune worth $1.36 million. Surprisingly, Curt’s main job was to collect and resell cans, which he had done for over three decades. There were reports that he used some of the revenue to invest in the stock market.

6. Auctioning a Historic Sport Ball  

Philip Ozersky caught the ball hit by the legendary baseball first baseman Mark McGwire, who broke the record for the most home runs in 1998. At first, Philip only wanted to keep it as a trophy to commemorate one of the greatest baseball achievements. However, he later had a change of heart and auctioned it for $3.5 million.

7. Selling Chicken

JC and Mike Conrad proposed selling wholesale chicken for $1.49 per pound in 2009 at a parking lot in Spokane. That was half the price of chicken in grocery stores and supermarkets at that period. Within two days, these brothers had sold more than 40,000 pounds. They opened Zaycon Fresh, a wholesale chicken vendor, which brought them millions of money while employing hundreds of people.

8. Registering URLs

Most freelancers today register URLs and sell them to companies that may need the domains at a much higher price. However, none of them has ever made as much money as Chris Clark. In 1994, Chris bought the domain name Pizza.com for only $20 but later sold it for $2.6 million in 2008.

Back in the 90s, websites were thought to be a fad. Therefore, major pizza retail companies didn’t know they would need domains for their websites to boost their online presence and overall sales.

9. Making Memes

Social influencers make memes to sell their brand and attract advertisers. A popular example is Erik Nakagawa, who created the famous “I can has cheezburger” cat meme. It turns out that he raked over $10 million for his creativity. The meme remains one of the most re-shared in history. In the same breath, a bunch of memes have been turned into NFTs and are now going for millions of dollars.

10. Creating and Selling a Blog

When Scott DeLong launched the blog ViralNova in 2013, he did not know it would turn him into a millionaire. Scott earned hundreds of thousands of dollars monthly after posting content regularly and placing a few Google ads on the site before selling it to Zealot for millions.

One of the factors that contributed to ViralNova’s success is that Scott published exciting stories and shared them on social media platforms. Therefore, his site would get hundreds of visitors every day. Today, it is not surprising to find bloggers making such crazy figures.

11. Selling Lesson Plans

Deanna Jump started selling her lesson plans in 2008 on a website called TeachersPayTeachers. She had about 99 lesson plans, each costing $8. Deanna sold hundreds of lesson plans within four years and earned more than $100,000 monthly. She became a millionaire within a year.

12. Selling Pillow Pets

Jenifer Telfer noticed that her kid’s stuffed animal was always flattened when it rested his shoulders over it. Therefore, she contracted a Chinese company to manufacture 8,000 pillow pets. The stuffed animals/pillows were sent to her, and she sold all of them. Jenifer turned this into a business, making $300 million a year.

13. Playing the Lottery

The chances of winning the lottery are very low; the house always wins. So when Stefan Mandel won the lottery fourteen times, it came as a surprise to many. He did so by employing a group of investors who targeted 14 lotteries from around the world. By 1992, Stefan and his team had won $900,000 from lotteries, which he used to gamble in other subsequent companies, maximizing profits.

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Last Update: May 16, 2024