Lewis Hamilton named as one of the world’s richest athletes

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Words: Matthew Hansen
14 May 2021

It’s no surprise to learn that Formula 1 legend Lewis Hamilton is one of the world’s most well-off athletes, but it’s always curious to see where the seven-time champion’s earnings line up relative to superstar athletes from other disciplines.

According to Forbes’ latest top 10 athlete rich list, Hamilton earned $114million in 2020 on his way to grabbing that seventh championship title … making him the highest paid racing driver on the planet.

Relative to the rest of the pack, Hamilton’s earnings place him eighth in the top 10. As big as his pay packet was, it was less than half of that earned by Forbes’ number one.

The top spot went to UFC fighter Conor McGregor. Despite only fighting once (against Donald Cerrone, a fight he won), McGregor earned $252million in 2020. Just over $30million was earned from said fight (approximately 1,000,000 paying for pay-per view), with the remainder earned from other ventures.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo were second and third, earning $181million and $167million respectively, making them the best paid football players on the planet. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was fourth, on earnings of $150million.

McGregor, Messi, Ronaldo, and Prescott were the only athletes to earn over $150million in 2020, but that’s not to say there was less money paid out during last year’s Covid-19 lockdowns and the impact on sport. Payment across Forbes’ top 10 collectively was 28 per cent up on the previous year.

LeBron James was fifth ($135million), ahead of Neymar ($133million), Roger Federer ($126million), Hamilton, Tom Brady ($106million), and Kevin Durant ($105million) rounded out the top 10.

 

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