How Much Money Do Pro Bowlers Make? Full Guide

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The best-paid public people in the world include professional athletes. We all know that professional athletes in sports like football, basketball, and soccer often make millions of dollars, but what about athletes in other sports?

So, you might wonder, “How Much Money Do Pro Bowlers Make?” Well, on average, professional bowlers can expect to pocket around $45,000 to $50,000 a year just from the winnings in their tournaments.

When it comes to the big guns of the bowling world, like the legendary Walter Ray Williams Jr., we’re talking a whole different league. Walter Ray, with a career spanning decades and more strikes than we can count, is raking in an impressive average of about $250,000 to $300,000 per year. That’s some serious dough for tossing those pins around!

To learn more about how much money do Pro bowlers make, check out:

Average Pro Bowler Salary

The ‘golden period’ of bowling was in the 1960s and 1970s when pros earned twice as much as NFL players did at the time. Pro bowlers lived the good life, winning huge sums of money at competitions and obtaining lucrative endorsement arrangements.

Average Pro Bowler Salary

The greatest of the best were inking multi-million dollar contracts and gaining notoriety, opening doors for young bowlers who wished to follow in their footsteps. Earl Anthony and Pete Weber were two outstanding figures during this period.

Unfortunately, things have changed since then, and a professional bowler now earns a much lower yearly pay. Experienced bowlers nowadays anticipate earning between $45,000 and $50,000 annually without sponsorships.

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How Much Money do Pro Bowlers Make?

Although there are other methods for professional bowlers to gain money, winning competition prizes is the major. 

How much money do Pro Bowlers Make? 

The Professional Bowling (PBA) is the primary circuit in the United States. Bowlers want to compete in the PBA, while others occur in other nations, including Japan. Additionally, there are many trips catered to specific demographics, such as juniors and seniors.

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How Much Money Do Pro Bowlers Make On Tour And For Winning A Tournament?

A bowler’s earnings from competitions are influenced by the competition and their degree of experience. Many contestants will leave various PBA events empty-handed since the prize money is concentrated among the top finishers.

Other competitions, meanwhile, are more forgiving and will even compensate bowlers who lose early. They may occasionally receive a salary of $5,000 to $10,000. 

How Much Money Do Pro Bowlers Make On Tour And For Winning A Tournament? 

As mentioned earlier, those will rely on the competition as indicated. A New York event with several sponsors and high-profile guests may be able to pay more to all participants, while a less well-known event might need more resources to do so.

The winners of the most prestigious events often get payouts of $50,000 to $100,000, with any runners-up receiving half of that amount.

How Much Money Do Pro Bowlers Make From Sponsorships?

As was previously said, professional bowlers could count on receiving many lucrative sponsorship agreements during the “golden age,” but sadly, that rarely happens.

Big sponsorship deals are kept for the big names and legends, like Norm Duke because bowling no longer garners the same television ratings it previously did.

How Much Money Do Pro Bowlers Make From Sponsorships

Even so, other elite bowlers can sign sponsorship agreements for a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. This might be sporting a particular t-shirt brand in exchange for money or utilizing specific bowling equipment to draw attention to a brand. 

On rare occasions, a professional bowler will have a supporter who will pay for travel costs and entrance fees while on PBA tours. This often implies they must split any prize money from winning tournaments.

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Why Do Bowlers Today Earn Less Money?

As previously said, the ‘golden age’ of bowling was in the 1960s and 1970s, when the greatest bowlers could earn millions of dollars annually.

These elite athletes were well-known on a global scale, and pro bowler Don Carter made history as the first athlete to get a million-dollar endorsement contract.

Why Do Bowlers Today Earn Less Money?

The highest-paid players made an average of $446,710 a year, far more than what is now paid in the sport. The drop in interest in the sport is the primary cause of the salary decline. 

The amount of time that the sport is covered on television has also drastically decreased; gone are the days when it showed bowling events on networks like ABC.

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Bowling Salaries In The Future.

Several things must take place for professional bowling wages to rise to their previous levels.

Particularly among younger people, the PBA needs to gain popularity. As a result, there would be a greater likelihood that sponsorship offers would become available and that television exposure would resume.

Bowling Salaries In The Future

Social media’s growth may also contribute to professional bowling receiving more attention. Due to the abundance of social media “influencers” accessible today, some bowling celebrities with sizable followings might increase visibility for the sport. These people may persuade their big fan base to support pro bowling.

According to polls, many Americans still like bowling as a recreational activity and frequent bowling alleys at least once a year.

It is also a trendy pastime for kids, so enlisting their support would be fantastic for the sport and a step towards getting those high earnings for professional players back.

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Are bowlers in the professional ranks responsible for their costs?

Professional bowlers often pay the bill for their own lodging, transport, and tournament entrance costs. These costs may significantly impact their entire income.

Can professional bowlers support themselves only by bowling?

Op-tier professional bowlers can make a good life exclusively from the sport because of the huge profits from tournament victories and sponsorships. Many professional bowlers pursue other endeavors to augment their income, including coaching or pro-shop ownership.

How much money do beginner bowlers make in comparison?

Amateur bowlers often don't make money since they compete more for fun and satisfaction than for monetary gain. Since most amateur bowlers have other jobs or sources of income, prize money in amateur events is frequently little.

Do professional bowlers have pensions or retirement plans?

Professional bowlers are not eligible for regular retirement plans or pensions offered by organizations like the PBA. Individual bowlers are responsible for handling their finances and making retirement plans.

Should professional bowlers pay taxes on their income?

Yes, professional bowlers must pay taxes on their income, including prize money from competitions, sponsors, and other sources.


To conclude, while professional bowling peaked in the 60s and 70s, that is no longer true. Top names in the sport still have the potential to earn a lot of money, but it used to be more common due to the decline in TV ratings and overall interest.

As a recreational sport, people enjoy bowling all over the United States and other places in the world, so there is the potential for an increase in popularity as a professional sport. This, in turn, will increase the salaries of those who participate professionally.

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