Collecting Pokémon cards can be a very fun but expensive business, especially when you're hoping to add this particular rarity to your set.
A Pikachu Illustrator card - a 1998 release which was only given out to a limited number of competition winners - has just sold in an auction for an absolutely mindblowing $195,000. For reference, a booster pack of Pokémon cards available at retail stores costs $4.99, granting you ten cards in total (making them about $0.50 each).
If you're wondering why a single Pokémon card could ever be quite that special, here's a description of it from the auction itself:
Description: Pokémon "Pikachu Illustrator" Trainer Promo Hologram Trading Card, 1998. Graded PSA 9 Mint. Fan-favorite Pikachu, stars on the most valuable and rarest Pokémon card in the world! Although the technical name for the card is "PokémonIllustrator", it is colloquially known as "Pikachu Illustrator" due to the image. What makes it so rare is that it was not sold, but awarded as a prize in an illustration contest through CoroCoro Comic. This unique card was created specifically for the contest. In the January 1998 issue, three 1st Place winners won a copy of the card, as did another 20 2nd Place winners. With cards awarded in two more contests that year, there were a maximum of 39 copies released.
It is not known exactly how many surviving copies are still around; however, only 10 PSA certified copies are known, a very important note because there are many counterfeit copies. This card is considered the most rare of an individual Pokémon card. This is the only card in the long-running collectible card game series to say "Illustrator" at the top of a Trainer Card, and the only one to bear the pen symbol in the bottom right corner. The artwork is by Atsuko Nishida.
A copy of the card actually sold for 'only' $54,970 back in 2016 which was a world record at the time; we thought it was pretty bonkers for that price, but this takes things to a whole new level.
Here's hoping this one doesn't get lost in the mail like the missing $60,000 Pokémon card sold a few months ago.