The Sports Illustrated magazine has published the Fortunate 50 list since 2004, which details the top paid American sports people. The list is composed of only American citizens who are currently active in their sports.
The rankings of the list are based earnings from salary, winnings, bonuses, endorsements and appearance fees. Sport Illustrated get their information by consulting the players' associations, tour records, agents and news reports.
The salary figures are based on current or most recently completed seasons, while for winnings-based sports such as auto racing, golf and tennis they use the previous calendar year. Boxing purses are from the previous July to June.
We have listed and discussed just the top 10 athletes 'Fortunate 50' for each year. You don't have to go through all of them to check the winners, Tiger Woods was on the top of all the lists from 2004 to 2011, when he was taken over by boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.
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