Idaho teenager becomes millionaire by investing $1, zero bounty in Bitcoin – and wins bet with his parents
Idaho teenager becomes millionaire by investing $1,000 bounty in Bitcoin – and wins bet with his parents
T hree 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 instructed at home. If he was a millionaire by the time he turned Legal, his parents said, they would not force him to go to university.
Last week Mr Finman announced 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.”
I won the million dollar bet I had with my parents! Grateful to all the friends, family, and mentors along the way.https://t.co/E2ailFboew
T he teenager’s story has captivated America, delighting people with its mix of childhood ambition, entrepreneurial abilities and hard work. Mr Finman has been celebrated on news channels, and lauded in the tech community. For his story is little brief 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 peak 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 attempted, 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.”
H e 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.
P erhaps remarkably, his parents listened to his complaints and withdrew him from school, home schooling him in rural Idaho.
In two thousand thirteen Mr Finman cashed in the very first of his bitcoin investments, when they were valued at $1,200 a chunk. His $1,000 investment was now worth a hundred times his grandmother’s bounty.
With the cash, the teenager launched an online education company called Botangle, which would permit frustrated students like him to find teachers over movie talk. Before kicking off the company, he went to a Starbucks and suggested to buy anyone a coffee if they would listen to his idea and give feedback – twenty people did.
Buoyed by the launch of his very first company, he spread his wings and begun interning at Silicon Valley start-ups. At the age of 15, he moved to San Francisco.
M r Finman now possesses four hundred three bitcoins, which at the current rate of $Two,700 a coin puts his bitcoin value at $1.09 million. He also has smaller investments in other cryptocurrencies, including litecoin and ethereum.
D espite the volatility of the virtual currency, he is dangling onto it – believing its value will proceed to rise.
Mr Finman told NBC he is presently working on numerous projects, including with Nasa to launch a rocket through the ELaNa project, designed to attract and recruit students to their teams.
And he has no regrets about not going to university.
"The way the education system is structured now, I wouldn’t recommend it," he said.
"It doesn’t work for anyone.
“I would recommend the internet, which is all free. You can learn a million times more off YouTube and Wikipedia."