Next time you’re at Sam’s Club picking up a jumbo pack of paper towels on sale, check out the guy beside you—he could be a millionaire. Yep, says Thomas J. Stanley, 56, author of The Millionaire Mind (sequel to the No. 1 bestseller The Millionaire Next Door), many of the Midas-touched are downright miserly. And many were only so-so students. Though 90 percent of the more than 1,300 millionaires he surveyed are college grads, they averaged only a 2.92 GPA, and 73% had SAT scores under 1000. Advises Stanley: “Don’t worry about being a C student. There’s a lot more to becoming a millionaire.” For starters, he cites creativity, tenacity and a willingness to take risks. “Parents think their kids have to get 1400 on the SATs,” says Stanley. “What happened to valuing leadership, integrity and hard work?” Attributes forgotten, perhaps, in all the hoopla surrounding dot-com billionaires and contestants on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
Still, even Stanley, who lives in Atlanta, admits that the going wage on Regis Philbin’s hit game show isn’t too shabby. “Normally, it takes 20 years to make that much,” he says.