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Elon Musk's Mum Says She Always Knew He Was A Genius But Wasn't Confident Of Success

Elon Musk's Mum Says She Always Knew He Was A Genius But Wasn't Confident Of Success

Maye said she thought he might end up living in a basement

Dominic Smithers

Dominic Smithers

Elon Musk's mum said she always knew he was a genius but that she wasn't confident he would be a success.

Maye says she realised that her son was super smart when he was just three years old, however, she wasn't sure whether he would use it in the way that he has or end up living in a basement.

The 72-year-old was promoting her new book, 'A Woman Makes a Plan', on CBS This Morning when the discussion turned to her children: Elon, 49, Kimbal, 48, and Tosca, 46.

Discussing Elon's passions, the model said: "At three, I knew [Elon] was a genius, but you still don't know if he's going to do great things because many geniuses just end up in a basement being a genius but not applying it."

But at the age of 12, she remembered, the future tech boss built a computer game, impressing a group of students.

Maye recalled: "They said, 'Wow, he knows all the shortcuts'. I don't think they knew that he was 12."


She then suggested that he submit his game to a magazine, which he did, and won $500.

Musk's first venture into the business world was a software company Zip2, which he ran with his brother Kimbal - something his mother, who was an investor in it, was delighted about.

She explained. "I was so excited when he started Zip2 because it just made life easier with door-to-door directions, and then newspapers could have a link that took you to a restaurant.

"I know that's common now, but that was highly unusual and people didn't believe that's possible. So that's why I invested in that at the very beginning - although I didn't have much money.

"Then he thought the banking system needed some help, so he did PayPal.

"Then after that, he said, 'Well, should he do space research or solar energy or electric cars?' And I said, 'Just choose one'. and, of course, he didn't listen to me."

Since then, Musk has gone on to become one of the richest people in the world, with an estimated fortune of $189 billion (£135bn).


And in a bid to promote the future of tech, the 49-year-old recently announces a $100m (£73,113,500) prize for a new carbon capture competition.

Writing on Twitter, he said: "Am donating $100M towards a prize for best carbon capture technology."

For now, he's been pretty elusive about what the competition entails, who it's open to, when it takes place, how to enter and... well, you get the idea. We basically have no information about it yet.

But details are set to be released 'next week' according to Musk, who has already had tens of thousands of replies on his initial tweet.

The $100 million prize will be Musk's most generous philanthropic action ever and it comes just weeks after he tweeted asking his 42.7 million followers for advice on where to donate his ever-growing pile of cash.

Featured Image Credit: CBS

Topics: elon musk, World News, US News, Technology