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Washington Sports Owner Ted Leonsis Moves Closer to Finishing Bucket List 101 Items Long

Washington Sports Owner Ted Leonsis Moves Closer to Finishing Bucket List 101 Items Long article feature image

Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Ted Leonsis

In 1983, Ted Leonsis was on a plane that lost the ability to use its wing flaps and landing gear. It was right then and there that Leonsis made himself a promise: “If I didn’t die, I’d play offense for the rest of my life.”

How would he be the judge of that? Over a period of time, the now Washington Capitals, Mystics and Wizards owner came up with a list of “101 Things To Do” before he died.

When I heard the story about the list, I sat down with him in 2002. He had crossed a remarkable 71 goals off the list. This week, as I finished up a conversation with Leonsis about the new sportsbook opening up inside his arena in Washington D.C., I slipped him the old published copy of his list and asked him to update me.

In 19 years, Leonsis has crossed another 10 off the list for a total of 81.

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Leonsis says his children have indeed become “individuals and self-actualized, staying loving within the family.” (#11).

He has reached $1 billion in net worth, after taxes (#15).

He has supported someone who has made a great breakthrough in science or art (#33). He is an investor in Tempus, which uses data analytics to improve cancer treatment. 

He has played in a celebrity golf tournament, attended a fantasy camp (#63) — Michael Jordan’s Flight Camp — and played Jordan one-on-one (#65).

“I hit a three in his face,” said Leonsis, whose Capitals won a title in 2018 (#41).

Last we spoke he hadn’t gone to China (#76), though he has several times since. 

He made a movie (#87), including his most recent one on Willie O’Ree, the first black NHL player, went to the Oscars (#96) and while he hasn’t won one (#88), he did win an Emmy for his documentary “Nanking”. 

He’s on the cusp of crossing off another one — Having grandchildren (#7). His daughter Elle is due in June and his son Zach is scheduled to have a child in September.

There are others that are clearly obtainable at Leonsis’ will. He said he’s close to giving away $100 million in his lifetime (#38) and could have a building named after the family at any time (#39). He won’t have a problem playing at Augusta (#52) or St. Andrews (#55) and easily has the wherewithal to visit any of his missing countries at the drop of a hat — a safari in Africa (#70), Australia (#73), Alaska (#78), Bali (#80) and Tahiti (#81)

Even going to outer space (#84), a lofty goal in 1983, seems within reach.

What’s the one Leonsis is most worried he’s going to miss?

After coming 12 feet short of a hole-in-one at the Windsor course in Vero Beach, Fla., Leonsis is skeptical his day will come.

Said Leonsis: “That might be out of reach now.”

With 90 percent in reach, it’s safe to say very few people, maybe no one else on earth, has crossed off more on their life goals list than Leonsis.

Item Status
Family Matters
1. Fall in love and get married
2. Have a healthy son
3. Have a healthy daughter
4. Take care of mother and father
5. Take care of in-laws
6. Take care of extended family
7. Have Grandchildren
8. Have Great Grandchildren
9. Leave trusts for family members
10. Leave all financial matters in great shape for family members upon passing on
11. Have children become individuals and self-actualized staying loving within the family
Financial Matters
12. Pay off college debts
13. Net worth of $10 million, after taxes
14. Net worth of $100 million, after taxes
15. Net worth of $1 billion, after taxes
16. Zero personal debt for family
17. Make $10 million on an outside investment
18. Become partner in VC fund
19. Create $1B in value with an outside investment
20. Start a company and sell it
21. Conduct an IPO on a company I founded
22. Create world’s largest media company
23. Own a beach home that stays in family
24. Own a jet
25. Own a yacht
26. Own a convertible Porsche or Mercedes
27. Own a mountain home that stays in the family
28. Own a great piece of art
29. Own a great personal collection of watches
30. Own a Ferrari
31. Restore an antique auto
32. Own a restaurant or club
33. Support someone who makes a great breakthrough in science or art
34. Change someone’s life via charity
35. Give $1 million to Georgetown
36. Have major impact on children’s charity
37. Start a family charity foundation
38. Give away $100 million in lifetime
39. Have a building/perpetual memorial named after the family
40. Own a sports franchise
41. Win a world championship
42. Go to a Super Bowl w/Dolphins or Redskins
43. Go to a Final Four with Georgetown
44. Go to a World Series with the Yankees
45. Meet Mickey Mantle
46. Catch a foul ball
47. Go to an NBA All-Star Game
48. Go to an NBA Draft
49. Go to an NHL All-Star Game
50. Go to a Capitals Stanley Cup
51. Go to Olympics
52. Play Augusta
53. Play Pebble Beach
54. Play Cypress
55. Play St. Andrews
56. Go to Ryder Cup
57. Go to US Open Golf
58. Go to World Cup
59. Get a hole in one
60. Play in a celebrity golf tournament
61. Go to a US Open Tennis Final
62. Go to an MLB All-Star Game
63. Go to a fantasy camp
64. Shoot baskets at Madison Square Garden
65. Go one-on-one with Michael Jordan
66. Go to Greece
67. Go to Italy
68. Go to Israel/Jerusalem
69. Go to Hawaii
70. Go on safari to Africa
71. Go to London
72. Go to Paris
73. Go to Australia
74. Sail through Caribbean
75. Sail through the Mediterranean
76. Go to China
77. Go to Brazil
78. Go to Alaska
79. Go to Egypt
80. Go to Bali
81. Go to Tahiti
82. Be on the cover of a magazine
83. Produce a TV show
84. Go to outer space
85. Write a book
86. Invent a board game
87. Make a movie
88. Win a Grammy/Oscar/Tony
89. Meet Ted Turner
90. Meet Bill Gates
91. Get an honorary degree
92. Hold elected office
93. Go to White House/Meet President
94. Advise a foreign government
95. Live overseas
96. Go to Oscars
97. Go to MTV Awards
98. See Rolling Stones
99. See The Who
100. Take a year sabbatical
101. Sail around the world with family

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