Charles Barkley has made a fortune but almost lost close to it due to his gambling habit.
While speaking on the In Depth with Graham Bensinger Podcast, Barkley said his excitement for money and winning was his motivation for gambling.
“I hear all these people talk about ‘You just like the action.’ No, I like the money actually, and it always sucks when you lose, but it’s a great feeling when you win,” the former basketball player explained to Bensinger.
His competitive spirit sometimes paid off as he recalls winning $1 million at least four or five times.
Despite those victories, Barkley has learned to fizzle out his desire to secure a big piece of the pie.
“The thing that I conquered about my gambling was I changed my mentality,” Barkley said. “I’m not trying to win a lot, I’m just trying to win. You know, Graham, I’ve won a million dollars probably four, five times.”
Barkley goes on to admit his gambling got “out of hand,” and that he lost anywhere between $10 to $20 million back in the 1980s. Furthermore, he eventually decided it was time to take a step back from gambling for two years.
“Yeah, no question. It got out of hand, but I quit for like two years, and I remember talking to my friends one night, [and] they said ‘Oh, gambling’s not your problem. You’re just an idiot,'” Barkley explained.
Barkley seems to have learned the hard way that sometimes it is okay to throw in the towel and savor the smaller victories.
“You can’t break the casino and since I developed that mentality, gambling is a lot more fun to me, to be honest with you,” Barkley said.
Today, according to a Celebrity Net Worth estimate, Charles Barkley has a $60 million fortune.