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