Growing up in a small town in the US "fly over" state of Idaho, Erik Finman hated school and the negative teachers, one of whom told him he'd end up working at McDonald's.
So at age 15, he begged his parents to let him drop out.
Shortly after, he announced to his parents - who met at Stanford University while getting their doctorates in electrical engineering and physics - that he didn't want to go to university, news.com.au reports.
In the ensuing negotiation process his parents committed to a wager: He didn't have to get the qualifications to go to university if he was a millionaire by the age of 18.
If his parents thought it was a safe bet, they're probably pretty happy about being proven wrong.
"I can proudly say I made it, and I'm not going to college," Erik Finman told CNBC this week.
That's right, the kid who was a poor student and shunned high school made good on his bet to be an 18-year-old millionaire, and in doing so, became an entrepreneurial prodigy in the tech world.
His road to premature riches all started when he was 12 years old and his grandmother gave him $1000.
He invested it in emerging crypto currency bitcoin and bought 100 units of the digital currency after his older brother told him about it. He took to the currency, which he thought would change the world, with such gusto that, at 16, some in the media anointed him "Bitcoin Boy".
He now owns 403 units of the currency - often used by hackers and cyber criminals - which at the time of writing are worth US$2630 ($3620) a coin. That puts the value of his stash at just over $1 million.
After shunning school he poured his energy into helping other disenchanted students like him find a better educational experience online.
He created an online video-chat tutoring platform called Botangle, which helped connect eager students with willing teachers.
When he was 15 he had a meeting with a top executive at Uber who listened to his pitch for the platform before discouraging him and telling him that he'd never win the bet with his parents.
But in January 2015, he found a buyer for the technology who offered him $100,000 or 300 bitcoin for it, which at the time had dropped to about $200 a coin.
Somewhat inexplicably, he took the Bitcoin.
To create Botangle he had cashed out some of his virtual currency portfolio. And he did the same thing to win a chance to meet one of his heroes, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who recently got engaged to tennis superstar Serena Williams.
After reading Ohanian's biography, Finman became completely enamoured with its central message: that the internet has ushered in an age where the world can be changed by anyone with a good idea and some tech savvy.
It just so happened at the time Ohanian was offering a night out with him for a charity raffle.
For $8500 Erik got treated to waffles and a Brooklyn Nets game with the person behind one of the internet's most popular websites - a place where Finman had once hosted an AMA (ask me anything) thread entitled; "I'm 15 and I Have 20 People Working for Me All Around the World for a Company Called Botangle".
And his hero was suitably impressed.
"The whole time I had to check myself and remind myself I was talking to a teenager," the Reddit co-founder told New York Magazine in 2014.
"He's a very driven young man, far more driven than when I was at his age."
The Reddit AMA was picked up by the tech media and led to all sorts of opportunities.
Since then he has travelled, lived in Silicon Valley and worked on a number of different ventures.
In his Twitter bio he calls himself a "real life Tony Stark", says he is launching a satellite and points out he was named one of Time magazine's most influential teenagers in 2014, alongside the likes of Sasha Obama.
The stream of tweets below is frequently punctuated with life advice and pearls of wisdom from (once again) an 18-year-old self-made millionaire.
"The easiest way to make money is to create something that solves a problem, or improves a situation. Don't chase fads, chase opportunity," he writes.
As well as other, less gracious, statements such as: "I'm pretty sure that you don't like me, but I'm entirely sure that I don't care."
Or maybe that also displays wisdom far beyond his years?
But perhaps his core message centres on his belief that the internet has made much of traditional schooling obsolete.
"You can learn a million times more off YouTube and Wikipedia," he told CNBC.
He once said he wouldn't send his kids to school but it's sure to be a while until he's faced with that dilemma.