Thirty-four-year-old father of three Nigel Brookes has just discovered that he's the owner of a Pokémon Trading Card collection worth a cool £35,000 (around $44,000).
Brookes was given the selection of cards – a 1999 Shadowless Pokémon card set purchased direct from Wizards of the Coast – by his mother 21 years ago as a 'thank you' gift for stopping his younger brother Jeremy from losing his best cards to other unscrupulous collectors.
According to Brookes (thanks, Lad Bible):
Jeremy ran into the house showing off this new Pokémon card he had traded with the kids on the street. I knew straight away that what these kids had done is told Jeremy their cards were better and traded them with him for his cards, which were really rare.
My brother was really sad about it and when our mum found out, being the big brother, she wanted me to sort it out. I found the kids and got my brother's card back, so as a present, my mum brought me this rare collection direct from the Pokémon creators in the US for about £300.
Brookes was never a fan of Pokémon, and was actually annoyed at the gift initially:
I wasn't actually that interested in Pokémon. I was disappointed at the time because the collection was one of my birthday presents so to me it was waste of a present. Little did I know they would be worth £35,000 now, we have kept them in the family for over 20 years and now they're going up for sale for a collector who will take care of them.
There are 103 cards in total, they are all in pristine condition and were bought direct from creators 'Wizards Of The Coast' in the US, and are all first edition. My daughter Layla loves Pokémon and did try to buy them all of me for £6 - unfortunately that won't cut it, and I'm sure she'll appreciate why I said no in the future!
The set is due to go up for auction on July 27th at Richard Winterton Auctioneers, who have issued the following statement:
The collection is estimated to fetch in the region of at least £25,000 and £35,000 and is viewed as something of a Holy Grail for serious Pokémon aficionados all over the world.
Brookes admits that it's been a "difficult decision to part ways because I'm sure in 20 years they'll be worth double," but explains that he's going to use the money to give his own kids a "a really special childhood."