Old Video Of Young Musk Shows How He Made His Early Millions

"It's sort of like a series of poker games," Musk said in a documentary made in 1999.


Tom Hale

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

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Dollars bill notes surround a smartphone showing Elon Musk's Twitter bio.
Elon Musk was worth about $204 billion at the start of November 2022. Image credit: FellowNeko/

With Elon Musk continuing to make headlines, as ever, an old clip from a 1999 documentary has resurfaced showing the multi-billionaire when he was a mere millionaire. 

The segment opens with Musk and then-fiancé Justine Wilson awaiting the arrival of his new car, a million-dollar McLaren F1, which he’d just bought with money earned from the sale of one of his early ventures Zip2. 


The now-defunct company allowed newspapers to publish their articles online, allowing them to monetize the content through advertisers. According to the documentary, Musk earned $400 million in cash from the sale of the company. 

Musk is around 28 years old in this clip, but is already showing his skill for investing and spotting upcoming trends to jump on. In the video, he explains that he’s currently focusing much of his attention on, a software company aiming to create an easy online payment system, which eventually became PayPal.

He explains that the company has the potential to become a “multi-billion dollar bonanza” because it's cashing the banking section, which he believes is “the biggest sector of the world’s economy”.

"It's sort of like a series of poker games, and now I've moved on to a higher stakes poker game and just carried those chips with me,” Musk said. “I haven’t gone and taken my winnings and spent a big chunk of it, I’ve just really put almost all of it back into the new game.” 


The clip finishes with Musk saying it would be “cool” to be on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Given that he appeared on the November 2017 cover, it’s safe to say that goal was well and truly nailed. 


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