He worked there for 5 years before the show started
By the age of 21, Chumlee started to work for Rick at The Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. He had spent five years working there before the show was picked up. Initially, his employee duties included testing items, working behind-the-counter at the shop, writing tickets for purchased items, and loading items. It wasn’t until later on in the show that his comedic relief aided in evaluating what rare items might be worth. But it was one item in particular that made Chum Lee the richest Pawn Star of them all. Read on to find out what it was.
He’s the comedic relief
Naturally, the shop increased its popularity rapidly after the show began in 2009. They found the perfect niche for themselves on the history channel since so many of their customers would stop in to have their rare, antique items appraised. Naturally, as one of their key employees, Chumlee also got a considerable amount of screen time. Chumlee quickly earned himself a good-sized fan base as the loveable dummy of the store while the rest of the crew enjoys busting his chops constantly.
He Surprisingly knows his stuff
Although the rest of the staff often picks on Chumlee for his perceived incompetence, he’s shown is value in evaluating some key items, namely old pinball machines, which he utilized in the episode, ‘Pinball Wizards’ during season two. This was a shock to rest of the crew as everyone underestimated Chumlee before this.
Even though this was a great find and supremely profitable. This wasn’t the game changer.
He’s got a following
After breaking into the show, Chumlee quickly became a fan favorite because of his lovable personality. Although it’s never been revealed how much Chumlee makes from working at the pawn shop, it’s been rumored that he makes upwards of $25,000 per episode. Now, it’s estimated that he has a net-worth of over $10 Million. The source of the bulk of his income now isn’t from the show though!
He makes how much?!
‘Pawn Stars’ has been on the air since 2009, so it’s understandable that Chumlee isn’t exactly struggling. If Chumlee has been making roughly twenty-five thousand each episode, he must make at least $625,000 per season. Each season has a different number of episodes, so that number would reflect the low-end of how much he makes per season.
Estimating his net worth
The show is currently in its fourteenth season. So if Chumlee were to make at least $625,000 per season, we can multiply that by the current number of seasons which would translate to well over $8 million. Chumlee is currently thirty-five years old, so this is pretty impressive even after taxes.
Chumlee has reached a point in his career where he’s gained quite a sizeable following, allowing him to take his leash and run with it in merchandising himself. He’s since started his own company, through which he sells a number of merchandise items such as personally designed T-shirts, and a variety of novelty products. His fan base has really taken a liking to his brand and those who follow him have remained loyal.
He sold half his shares in the company
One thing Chumlee may regret now is that he sold half of his stake in the company to the owner, Rick Harrison while it was still in its infancy back in 2010. Rick Harrison purchased those shares for $155,000, but that would be worth a lot more today. Ultimately, this was a best for business type of decision, so that the store could handle more in merchandise. Chumlee currently has the highest amount of merchandise sales and has surpassed that of the other stars on the show.
Appearing on other shows
Chumlee hasn’t chained himself to just one show, as he’s made a few appearances in the spin-off series, American Restoration. This was another show which also ran on the History Channel, as it featured historical pieces that history-nuts would take great interest in. Chumlee has since gotten himself in a few restoration shows, including one for classic cars.
Chumlee was also a panelist, alongside the rest of his Pawn Stars cast in the History game show, Pawnography from 2014 until 2015. It featured different groups of contestants, answering questions for a chance to win a hefty cash prize as well as rare and valuable items from the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. The show only ran for two seasons before it was canceled in 2015.
Chumlee has made a killing off of his merchandise that’s been sold in the store and online, such as an autographed Chumlee bobblehead for $400. This may not come as a major surprise given his body-type, but Chumlee is rumored to be opening up a candy shop in Las Vegas as his newest business venture. According to reports, “Chumlee’s Candy on the Boulevard”, will be a joint venture between himself and his brother, Sage Russell. It is unclear at the moment on whether it will be featured on any of the shows he’s currently on.
How He’s Done So Well
It’s easy to see that most of his fortune came from starring on the reality TV series, based on everything said so far. It’s easy to assume that he likely has a comfortable salary with the shop and it’s obvious that he makes a great deal of his money from the show. According to various online sites, Chumlee has also brought in over $50,000 from various endorsement deals and sponsorships alone.
How much has Chumlee earned over the past few years?
According to reports, the reality star earned $335,000 back in 2012- that’s easily comparable to a doctor’s salary! As his popularity increased, so did his earnings. A year later, the amount had increased to $450,000 before breaking the $500,000 mark in 2014. By 2015, it was approximated that he was bringing home over $606,000.
Chumlee made quite the leap in net worth from 2012 to 2014. It that short span of time, he went from netting $600,000 to over a Million. His net worth was estimated to be close to $2.6 million and then grew to $3.5 million in 2015, $4 million in 2016, before reaching what it is now, $10 million in 2019. It’s pretty unbelievable that someone who still holds the title of comic relief of ‘Pawn Stars’ could make such a killing for himself.
What the future holds
The show hasn’t shown signs of slowing down in popularity, so it would only be logical that his net worth will continue to rise in the coming years, as it’s one of those shows that’s all too easy to get addicted to. If the show’s past success is any indication, it will probably continue past the fourteenth season. The grand opening of his new Las Vegas candy shop should only prove to add value to namesake in the coming years.