Someone You Should Know: Marc Paskin - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Someone You Should Know: Marc Paskin


By Diana Henry - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook | Blog

A man who now lives in California hasn't forgotten his roots in Madison. It makes Marc Paskin 'Someone You Should Know.'

"This brings back old memories back here," said Marc Paskin.

Marc Paskin comes from humble beginnings.

"I remember living here for the first three out of my four years at campus," said Marc. "I didn't have enough money to get an apartment."

Marc took us back to the house he grew up in with his mother, father and one brother on Erin Street in Madison.

Someone else lives here now and certainly has changed over the years.

"This used to be my bedroom right here," said Marc. "My bedroom has become a toilet!"

Marc's family didn't have a lot of money so he would create mini-businesses when he was a kid.

"I used to have a cotton candy wagon," said Marc. "4th of July I used to park cars in the driveway for 50 cents to a dollar. I used to sell snow cones."

Marc went to UW-Madison graduating with a radio, TV, film degree in 1971. He worked his way through college, in part, at the then hit a-m radio station WISM.

"WISM was a very popular rock-n-roll radio station and I went under the name of Sam Francisco because everyone had fake names in those days," said Marc.

"He was very fun to work with," said Bill Vancil.

Bill Vancil was the station manager for WISM when Marc was a disc jockey.

"He's the same guy," said Bill. "He's fun. He puts on an Elvis suit and sings at parties around the neighborhood. He just has a ball and you'd never know that he's a multi-millionaire. He's just a regular guy."

Although he didn't know it at the time, it was a duplex at 16 Broom Street in Madison that started Marc on the path to becoming a millionaire.

"This was my first real estate investment," said Marc.

Marc bought the $15,000 building with all he had-- $1,000 down. He sold it a couple of years later for about a $4,000 profit.

"My $1,000 in 35 years has turned into over $100 million dollars worth of real estate," said Marc.

Marc now owns multiple apartment complexes around the country.

But what Marc makes isn't what caught the eye of producers of the show, "Secret Millionaire."

"My goal is to die broke because once you've made a lot of money and have a nice house, car, you take vacations, you don't need anymore," said Marc.

Marc donates hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. In the show, Marc pretends to be broke and volunteers in inner city Detroit.

"The very last day of filming we come back and we go, I'm not really who I said I am and I'm really the Secret Millionaire and I want to donate to your charity," said Marc.

While Marc knows not everyone can give at the level he does; he does want everyone to try to do what they can.

"I think it's the concept of helping other people," said Marc. "If you don't have money, volunteer. If everybody did that I think it will be a better world. There's lots of organizations that need volunteers. One night, one day a week and help people."

You can watch Marc and others on 'The Secret Millionaire' right here on WKOW starting in March of next year. So stay tuned!

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