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When Shaquille O'Neal's accountant freaked out because $250,000 of profit was missing from his car wash business

The accountant actually flew to Orlando to discuss the issue with Shaq, only to find out that Shaq had a bunch of wooden barrels in his bedroom, full of quarters.
Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal

Even before Shaquille O'Neal was actually drafted, he made some serious cash with an endorsement deal featuring Classic Car. They paid him $1 million, and Shaq managed to spend it all in two days. He spent the money by taking care of his family, paying off his parents' bad credit, and buying them cars. However, little did he know that by the time you take the $1 million and deduct all taxes, you are left with about half a million. So naturally, Shaq was surprised when the bank called to inform him he owed them about 90 thousand dollars — that situation triggered Shaq to hire an accountant to take care of his finances.

Lester Knispel

Shaq's agent, Leonard Armato, arranged several meetings for the superstar and his parents. The only guy that left a positive impression on Shaq and his family was Lester Knispel, who Shaq later credited for his impressive off-court financial success.

Lester was all about making more money for Shaq, and one of the first things O'Neal invested in Orlando was coin-operated car washes; as per Shaq Uncut: My Story, "We were doing really well, making a lot of money, but one day Lester called me up and told me the numbers weren't matching up. The profits we should have had were not the same numbers that were being deposited in the bank.

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'Don't worry, Lester,' I told him, but he was freaking out about it. He even flew to Orlando to discuss it with me. He calculated we were missing almost a quarter million dollars."

Shaq reveals the missing profit whereabouts.

"It took me a while, but I finally came clean with him. I showed Lester my bedroom, where there were a whole bunch of wooden rain barrels—full of quarters.
Lester said, 'Shaquille, what the hell is this? Is this the missing money?'
'Yes,' I admitted. 'Lester, I can't help it. I like seeing my money. Come here, run your fingers through all these quarters. It's awesome!'"

Lester was definitely glad to find the money, as he "called the bank and told them he had $250,000 worth of quarters to deposit. It took weeks to put it all in there because they didn't have enough coin machines to sort it all out."

Shaq is known for living big, making his wildest dreams come true, and also reminding everyone it's important never to let the little kid in you grow up too much. I mean, who wouldn't want to have wooden barrels in their bedroom full of shiny coins?

Even with ridiculous spending at times, Shaq managed to make the most out of his basketball career both on and off the court. According to Celebrity Net Worth, he is currently worth about $400 million. And while it's hard to put a value on Shaq's exact worth, given that he owns many brands, franchises, and businesses, it is safe to say that he learned a lesson or two from his dear accountant.

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