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Shark Tank's Mark Cuban reveals how he made his first million

The Dallas Mavericks owner's love of basketball played a huge part

Eve Crosbie

It's been widely reported that Mark Cuban is the wealthiest shark on Shark Tank, but have you ever wondered how he made all his money?

MORE: Shark Tank stars share shocking behind-the-scenes secret

Today, Mark is the owner of NBA's Dallas Mavericks and has stakes in Magnolia Pictures, AXS TV as well as dozens of small startups, making him one of America's richest men.

And now, in a new interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, he's opened up about how he got his start in the world of business.

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Mark Cuban owes his fortune to his love of basketball

Appearing via video link on the show this week, Mark opened up about how he first hit millionaire status over 20 years ago, back in the nineties.

MORE: Shark Tank: what are the Sharks' net worths? 

At the time, Mark was an Indiana University graduate who could barely hold down a day job. As he mentioned in a previous episode of Shark Tank, he had quit or been fired from three companies in a row before he and an old friend from business school came up with a genius idea.

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Mark made his first million in the nineties

"We said, 'You know, we've got to use this new internet thing to be able to listen to Indiana basketball,'" Mark told Ellen. "So we started a company called AudioNet, which was the very first streaming company and then we grew that, took it public, sold it for a lot of money and then the rest is history."

MORE: Shark Tank: 7 biggest missed investments that went on to make millions

The company was later renamed Broadcast.com and grew from just a handful of employees to 330. They even helped launch the first live-streamed Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Mark eventually sold the company to Yahoo! for $5.7million - and his fortune has only grown since then.

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Mark appears on ABC's Shark Tank on Friday nights

Mark, who now has an estimated net worth of $4.2billion, also spoke about his humble beginnings, revealing that he sold garbage bags and baseball cards as a kid.  "At nine or ten years old, I was selling baseball cards, and then at 12, I was selling garbage bags door-to-door. I've been a hustler for as long as I can remember," he said.

MORE: Shark Tank: meet the partners of Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner and more

Explaining where his drive came from, he continued: "My dad said, 'If you want something you've got to go out and earn it'. So when I wanted a new pair of basketball shoes, he hooked me up with one of his buddies who set me up selling garbage bags and I sold them door-to-door and then from there that gave me confidence, and i've been starting businesses ever since."

Away from his professional pursuits, Mark has been married to wife Tiffany Stewart, 51, for nearly two decades. They tied the knot in a small ceremony in Barbados in 2002 and together, they are the proud parents of three children: daughters Alexis, 18, Alyssa, 14 and 11-year-old son Jake.

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