The Top 5 Hautest Earning Athletes of 2010

Sports Illustrated has recently compiled a list of this year’s highest earning athletes in America, calling it The Fortunate 50. After crunching numbers, we think “fortunate” sounds a bit blasé, but when living the high life, there are no limits.

Just ask Tiger. His personal dramas may have come out of the woodwork in the past year, but Tiger Woods‘ earnings haven’t trailed very far. The golf pro has maintained his No. 1 rank on The Fortunate 50 for the second year in a row. Though his cheating ways have cost him millions, Woods still made $90 million. As a wise man once said, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”

Not falling far behind is golf pro Phil Mickelson, coming in at the No. 2 spot for the second year in a row. Raking in more than $61 million in salary and endorsements, Mickelson has his sponsors to thank; his endorsements alone, including golf mega-brand Callaway, have brought in $52 million for the athlete.

Jabbing his way into the No. 3 spot is Floyd Mayweather Jr. After a brief hiatus, the boxer is back in the top five, and we’re almost certain no one is willing to put up a fight about it. Making an estimated $60 million, the fighter has banked on pay-per-view sales for being part of some of the biggest fights this year.

Surprisingly enough, LeBron James didn’t call in a press conference to announce his No. 4 rank on the list. The newest leg of the Miami Heat’s trifecta, the NBA star was financially conscious when choosing Heat over Cavs. Earning an estimated $45 million in the past year, it’s obvious that LeBron is packing heat in more ways than one.

Rounding out the top five at No. 5 is New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez. Whether you love him or hate him, A-Rod is sitting pretty on his $37 million throne. He is the MLB’s highest-paid player, but is still keeping things real — it was recently reported that his six-bedroom estate in Florida was sold for $8.5 million, one-third less than the purchase price.

Click here to view the other contenders on The Fortunate 50.