Serena Williams was playing to win.

As AFROTECH™ previously reported, Williams was purely satisfied by the game, and money was an afterthought. So much so that she would often forget to pick up her prize money after tournaments.

“When I started tennis, first of all, I’m from Compton, CA, and I remember playing on these courts, and my life was great. I never felt like I needed anything. So for me, money was never a motivation,” Williams explained on Bloomberg Originals’ “The Deal” podcast hosted by Alex Rodriguez and Jason Kelly. “I remember when I first started, back in the day, they used to write out checks after you won your tournament. And I would always forget to get the checks. And so at the end of the year they would always have to say, ‘Serena, we have all these checks for you.’ I’m like, ‘Oh my God.’ And at the time, I had an accountant who would be like, ‘Serena, they sent me all these checks that you would forget to get from the tournaments.’”

While she reveals she was forgetful about picking up her prize money at times, she does remember her first $1 million check. While on the First We Feast show, “Hot Ones,” the former athlete confirmed she had once attempted to cash in her earnings in the drive-thru of a bank, which was unsuccessful.

“I got my check, and it was $1 million, and like ‘OK I’m going to go deposit it.’ I never really spent a lot of money… I was just so serious. So I went through the drive-thru. The guy was like ‘I think you need to come inside for this,’ and I was like ‘Uh OK,” Williams said.

Williams, regarded today as one of the greatest athletes of all time, has accolades including 23 major (Grand Slam) women’s singles titles, per ESPN; 14 doubles titles alongside her sister Venus; and two mixed doubles titles, CNN states.

She earned $94.8 million in prize earnings over her career, per the WTA Tour.

“Looking at the success that I had financially was never my starting point,” she previously explained on “The Deal” podcast. “My starting point was always I just want to win championships and I want to have fun and I want to be a great tennis player. And quite frankly, I just wanted to win a Grand Slam. And I honestly, for me, everything else was a bonus.”