Back in 2001, future Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran was still giving herself an allowance. Every week, she would take her cash card to the bank machine and withdraw $200. That was her spending money. Then, one day, she checked her receipt after claiming her cash. The account balance? $44 million.
No, it wasn’t a bank error. Nor was it necessarily a surprise for Corcoran, who had just sold her company The Corcoran Group for $66 million. Famously, as CNBC recalled, she had started the company with modest seed money ($1,000) from her then-boyfriend. At the time, she was working in a secretarial position at a large New York real estate firm and wanted to make it on her own.
This was not a quick flip. Corcoran set up her own shop as early as 1973 when she and a small team of seven agents were selling apartments on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
The eventual sale was partly negotiated when Corcoran was enjoying time on the slopes. She told CNBC that the initial offer of $22 million for The Corcoran Group came in while she was sitting in a ski lift.
Her response? No less than $66 million. Because, as it turns out, 6 was her lucky number, and she wasn’t going to settle for $6 million. Eventually, the deal closed for that amount, paid in two installments of $44 million and $22 million.
But despite the financial windfall, Corcoran also suffered the loss of her influence in the real estate world. She told CNBC there were very real psychological effects from the shift.
“[E]go-wise, to go from being a big shot one day with the press calling you for your opinion on the real estate market all the time, to the next day when you’re not in the game at all. Nobody’s calling.”
It is an influence she would later regain as a member of the Shark Tank panel, which she joined upon the show’s U.S. debut in 2009. She famously fought for the “one female seat,” a few years before Lori Greiner also joined up as a permanent shark. As the Inquisitr reported last November, Corcoran’s initial offer from the show was rescinded after producers found another woman to take on the role. Corcoran fought for her spot on the panel and won.
Corcoran doesn’t have any plans to leave Shark Tank anytime soon. Since Greiner’s addition to the panel as a permanent shark in Season 4 — she was a guest in Season 3 — there have been no changes to the core cast, and fans probably like it that way. In an article from Fortune last month prior to the Season 9 finale, Corcoran made her intent to stay put very clear.
“I already told my producer… that I’m going to die in my seat.”
Shark Tank has had numerous guest sharks, perhaps none so many as in Season 9 when no fewer than five guest sharks appeared throughout the year. During Season 9, not even Kevin O’Leary appeared in every episode, a change from previous seasons when he had always held court in the center seat.
Corcoran landed some interesting deals in Season 9, like the Comfy. As Inc. noted, it allows for comfortable couch-lounging in an oversized, hoodie-style sweatshirt blanket. There’s no word yet as to whether those entrepreneurs plan to sell their business for $66 million. If that time comes, Corcoran may be able to help them do it.