Nigel Brookes, a 34-year-old from the U.K., recently discovered that a set of Pokémon cards given to him as a kid is now worth around $40,000 (£35,000), LADbible reported. The set includes 103 first edition cards in “pristine condition” and was bought directly from creators Wizards of the Coast in the U.S.
Brookes’ mother gave him the cards in 1999 as a reward after he stopped other kids from tricking his younger brother into trading a rare card for a normal one.
“I wasn’t actually that interested in Pokémon,” Brookes said. “I was disappointed at the time because the collection was one of my birthday presents, so to me, it was [a] waste of a present.”
The rare collector’s item has been kept in the family for 21 years. The set cost about $382 (£300) when Brookes’ mother bought it in 1999.
The set of cards will be auctioned on July 27 at the Lichfield Auction Centre in the U.K. Auctioneer Richard Winterton said the collection is estimated to be sold for around £25,000 to £35,000. “[The collection] is viewed as something of a Holy Grail for serious Pokémon aficionados all over the world,” Winterton said.
Brookes has three children now and one of them is a Pokémon lover who made a bet of her own.
“My daughter Layla loves Pokémon and did try to buy them all [off] me for £6,” Brookes said. “Unfortunately that won’t cut it, and I’m sure she’ll appreciate why I said no in the future.”
Brookes even doubted his decision to auction the card set now because he said “I’m sure in 20 years they’ll be worth double.” But he decided to enjoy the money and provide a “really special childhood” for his children.
“With this money we can really set ourselves up for the future,” Brookes said.