The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue is a multi-million-dollar secret kept under wraps each year until it hits newsstands. Everything from the cover model to the exotic locales of the shoots to even the names of the women that grace its pages, remains top secret.
And when it's finally revealed, it's a global sensation. In fact, it has grown into a multimedia franchise that, since its debut in 1964, has made more than $1 billion for parent company Time Inc. Even in today's tough economy, it continues to print its own profits.
Here we look at some of the lesser-known facts behind one of the best selling magazine issues of all time.