Jim Irsay Dropped $2.4 Million On The ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’ Founding Document At An Auction

It’s pretty well known that Colts owner Jim Irsay has a crazy rock & roll memorabilia collection that he’s sunk multiple millions of dollars into. When you’re a billionaire NFL owner with money to blow, you can afford to spend $2 million on Ringo Starr’s drumset and another few million on guitars owned by Elvis, Prince and Bob Dylan. These are the things you do when you’re filthy rich.

But this latest purchase from Irsay took a major left turn from his rock & roll collection. Yesterday, he dropped a cool $2.4 million on the founding documents for Alcoholics Anonymous. If you know Irsay’s history with booze, you probably understand why he did it.

AP:

The founding document of Alcoholics Anonymous, known to adherents as the “Big Book,” sold at auction Saturday for $2.4 million to billionaire and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.

Irsay told The Associated Press he plans to build a special display for the manuscript and display it for several months a year at Alcoholics Anonymous’ headquarters in New York. He says he attempted to buy the manuscript when it was up for auction several years ago, and he is thrilled at the opportunity to share it publicly.

Irsay said he considers himself a steward for the manuscript, which he said he may also send out on tour so it can be seen by more people.

“I’ve held it. I’ve looked through it. It is absolutely mind-blowing,” he said. “It was just a miracle to see this thing live.”

Irsay, who was clearly excited about obtaining the manuscript during a telephone interview, said he considered remaining anonymous about purchasing the manuscript, but wanted to go public to try to relieve the stigma of alcoholism and addiction.

“The only way we stay sober is to give it away,” Irsay said.

“I think it’ll help a lot of people,” he said. “That’s the reason I’m doing it.”

Irsay has apparently been sober since his very public DUI in 2014 that ended with him being suspended by the NFL. That incident had more to do with pills than booze, but he did tell the AP that he first attended AA 25 years ago and obviously appreciates it enough to spend that kind of money on this thing.

He said he attended his first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting 25 years ago, and marvels at the reach of the organization and what its founders built.

It is the third time the 161-page typed document has been sold. It sold in 2007 for $850,000 and for $1.6 million in 2004. Saturday’s auction was delayed by a dispute with Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

The manuscript includes notes and scribbles from one of AA’s founders, William Wilson, more commonly known as “Bill W.”

It’s nice to see Jim trying to do some good with all that money.

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