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June 24th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

The gambling man who co-founded Apple and left for $800

By Dan Simon, CNN

(CNN) – Ron Wayne is usually just another gambler at the Nugget Hotel & Casino in Nevada. He comes here a couple of days a week to try his luck on the video poker machine. But on this trip, he drew some curious onlookers, as he was escorted by a CNN camera crew. A gift-shop worker asked him if he's famous.

"Well, I'm one of the founders of Apple Computer," Wayne responded.

Wayne, 76, is used to the puzzled looks. He said people assume that he must be living in a mansion.

"I'm living off my Social Security and I do a modest trade in collectors' stamps and coins," he said.

The irony of being inside a casino is not lost on Wayne. After all, if his short-lived career at Apple had gone differently, he would be holding a different kind of winnings: 10 percent of Apple's stock.

Today, that stock would be worth $22 billion. Wayne left Apple for only $800. Read more

Filed under: Business
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Shorter

    Great story, thanks for covering it. Reminds me a bit of the story of Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center). Scientists there invented the mouse among other things. Senior management at Xerox had no idea what they had. So, folks from Apple and from Microsoft 'borrowed' ideas from Xerox PARC.... The rest is history.

    June 28, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  2. Ben

    To Bill Jacques:

    Everyone should take responsibility for his or her own choices in life. Wayne chose his - and financially, it didn't turn out well for him.

    Nobody owes him anything - legally or even morally. Now, if he were homeless and starving, then yes, but otherwise, no one owes him a "better life".

    We don't know the man, but methinks if he is still gambling away (the interview was done in a casino, right?) - then tossing a few thousand dollars will make zero difference.

    June 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
  3. Bill Jacques

    You would think that they could extend this man a helping hand and make his life better.I know he left and accepted the money in good faith and was happy with that decision but I think there is a moral obligation here on the part of the company.A few thousand dollars would mean nothing to Apple after all he did help start this company.

    June 25, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  4. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    This dude left the slot machine to early and missed the jackpot

    June 25, 2010 at 7:18 am |
  5. Louis

    this is a real bummer.. he should start an online sadness fund and collect paypal money $$$

    June 25, 2010 at 1:45 am |