Now Thats News!: Tiger Makes His First Billion

Matt 'Frostin' FooteCorrespondent IOctober 1, 2009

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Tiger Woods watches a shot on the fifth hole during the final round of THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola, the final event of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, at East Lake Golf Club on September 27, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Michael Jordan, eat your heart out.

 

Tiger Woods is the first athlete to reach a billion dollars in career earnings, according to Forbes.com, cementing his status as the top pitchman/athlete in sports history.

 

The $10 million prize he claimed for winning the FedEx Cup title on Sunday pushed him over the top, according to Forbes' estimates.

Woods had earned $895 million coming into the season and took home $10.5 million in winnings to go with his championship bonus and endorsement money, appearance fees and earnings from his course design business.

Don't feel too bad for Jordan, by the way. He still receives a reported $45 million annually from Nike and is projected to pass the $1 billion mark himself in 4-5 years.

Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher is also close behind with $700 million in career earnings.

But neither Schumacher or Jordan figure to catch Woods. Schumacher peaked at $80 million annual earnings in 2003 and Jordan's best year was only $69 million in 1998.

Plus, Woods is only 33 and his earning power is still on the rise. His lucrative side businesses ($10 million or so per course design, as much as $3 million in appearance fees according to Forbes) figure to help him through the tough times after he decides to put down the clubs as well.

In other words, he'll be sports first multibillionaire well before he's old enough to play on the Champions Tour.

Tiger thanked the two biggest influences in his life, A-Rod, and Satan.