July 16, 2024
Serena Williams

“The guy [at the bank] was like, ‘Uh, I think you need to come inside for this,’ ” the retired tennis pro recalled on ‘Hot Ones’

Serena Williams learned an important banking lesson early in her career.

The famed tennis star, 42, appeared on the latest episode of Hot Ones, where she recalled a moment of trying to deposit her first $1 million tennis winnings in a drive-thru ATM.

“I never played for money,” Williams said after host Sean Evans asked her whether or not that story was true. “I played ’cause I loved the sport … I don’t even know if I wanted to play to be the best, I wanted to win.”

“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 forget 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,” she continued.

Then remembering her first large paycheck, Williams detailed, “I never really spent a lot of money,” adding, “I went through the drive-thru … and the guy was like, ‘Uh, I think you need to come inside for this,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, OK.’ ”

Serena Williams
Serena Williams in June 2024. MICHAEL LOCCISANO/GETTY IMAGES

Williams — who shares daughters Adira, 10 months, and Olympia, 6½, with husband Alexis Ohanian — retired from tennis in September 2022.

While chatting with PEOPLE at the Tribeca Film Festival about the premiere of her new docuseries In the Arena: Serena Williams last month, the athlete opened up about her life as a parent and how she is able to satisfy her competitive craving as a mom.

“You don’t and I can’t. I have to be the best mom,” she said. “I have to go to all of Olympia’s things at her school. I literally show up.”

Williams added that she also looks to her beauty brand Wyn to keep her motivated, stating, “I invest in women. I invest in people of color and that is very competitive.”

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