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Rare Pokémon Card Earns Pro Football Player $670k

In this day and age, it's no surprise to see a "Pokémon" card sell for thousands of dollars. There have been plenty of cases, with some of the most expensive cards selling for over $1 million. Big money deals have even led to potential jail for one collector, showing just how avid some "Pokémon" fans are. Recently, a pro football player has made over $670k after selling just one card.

Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Blake Martinez, who previously played for the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants, dropped off a nearly-mint "Pokémon" Illustrator card to CGC Cards in early October for grading. This wasn't Martinez's first time in the TCG scene – he has an entire Instagram account dedicated to "Pokémon" cards, and he even streams "Pokémon" TCG content on Whatnot. In fact, he's shown off another "Pokémon" Illustrator card in his collection that received a grade of eight.

The most recent "Pokémon" Illustrator card was graded and received a 9.5 out of 10 rating, making it a near-perfect condition card. The Vice President of CGC Cards, Matt Quinn, said that he wouldn't have been surprised to see the card sell for over $1 million, but it ultimately fell a bit short.

Why the Pokémon Illustrator card is so rare

Goldin, the marketplace where the card was auctioned, tweeted that the card had a final sale price of $672,000. This made it one of the most expensive cards sold, but not the most expensive copy of the elusive "Pokémon" Illustrator card.

According to CGC Cards, the "Pokémon" Illustrator card, nicknamed The Swirllustrator, is one of the rarest "Pokémon" cards in the world. There were only 39 officially released to the world as contest prizes from 1997 to 1998. Two more were released unofficially later on, and the card has since been the hardest card to find – especially with a grade as high as a 9.5.

Previously, there was a perfect Swirllustrator card on the market. It gained a lot of notoriety as Logan Paul purchased it from a secret seller and flew to Dubai, India to make the deal. It became the priciest "Pokémon" card ever, selling for $5.3 million. Some people pointed out the that Logan Paul seemed to get the short end of the stick, but it's worth noting that a 9.5 grade and a 10 grade are very different in the eyes of collectors.