Mays was born on July 20, 1958 and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He later dropped out of West Virginia University and worked for his father's hazardous waste company before moving to Atlantic City, New Jersey. He was taught how to sell by the older salesmen in Atlantic City, saying "I was taught to pitch by a lot of old pitchmen. That's the kind of style I have." In Atlantic City boardwalk he sold the Washmatik portable washing device to passersby, and other "As Seen on TV" products.
Mays later traveled to home shows, auto shows, and state fairs across the United States for a period of twelve years, selling various maintenance products and tools, including cleaning products and food choppers.
Born William Darrell Mays, Jr.
July 20, 1958(1958-07-20)
McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died June 28, 2009 (aged 50)
Odessa, Florida, U.S.
Other names Billy Mays
Occupation Television direct-response advertisement salesman
Years active 1993–2009
Home town McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania
Spouse(s) Deborah Mays