Here's How Much Billy Mays Was Worth When He Died

Today, the Flex Tape Guy might be sitting at the top of the meme-able product spokesman pyramid, but back in the day, Billy Mays was king. Though his throne was occasionally challenged by the pitch-savvy ShamWow guy, even Mays' obituary at the New York Times noted his status as a bona fide pop culture icon. From his punchy name to his kind eyes and good-natured, yet intensively booming speaking style, Mays was the ultimate pitchman until his untimely death in 2009, at just 50 years old. 

From OxiClean to Kaboom, Mays could sell it all, and sell it all he did. He started learning his skills at a young age, selling mops on the Atlantic City boardwalk, and found success by always, always appearing to utterly believe in the product he was selling. Reportedly, he even gave an OxiClean pitch at his own wedding, complete with free bottles for all guests. His trademark "Hi, Billy Mays here" became a subject of countless parodies, and Mays himself was all too happy to be in on the joke, capitalizing on his wink-and-nod fame in reality shows and commercials. 

Still, ultimately, he was just the pitchman, and not the owner of the company that produced the goods. How much could a guy like that earn? Let's see how much Billy Mays was worth when he died.  

Hi, it's Billy Mays' thick wallet

Billy Mays' biggest individual professional break came in the 1990s, when Orange Glo International hired him as the promotion guy for their line of cleaners. Had he lived longer, there might have been even further fame and fortune for Mays: Shortly before his death, he started breaking into other TV formats with his Discovery Channel documentary series, Pitch Men.

Still, when a person is extremely good at something, and said something happens to be a business, there's a fair chance that they can use their talents to make a fair few dollars. Mays may have been "just" a pitchman, but he was very much the pitchman. The world of direct-response marketing served him well, and the sheer amount of products he pitched on TV is testament to his talent, even before you take his pop culture icon status into account. According to wealth estimation site Celebrity Net Worth, in fact, Mays did so well that his net worth may have been as high as $10 million.