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How Much Did Pawn Stars Invest In A Broken Pac-Man Machine?

When it comes to video game memorabilia, few things are as rare as classic arcade games. While it's easy enough to play many of these games on modern computers, finding the original parts in working condition can be a challenge. Actually scraping together the money to buy them is another obstacle. Even then, they often need repairs.

This is the lesson that Big Hoss and Chumlee from Pawn Stars learned firsthand in season 1, episode 4, when they acquired a particularly busted Pac-Man machine from the 1980s. When the two friends first saw the machine, it was in ragged condition. The owner had attempted to fix it, but failed by his own admission. The overall condition of the machine, combined with the scarcity of buyers, made Hoss a bit hesitant to lay money down for it. Still, Chumlee insisted and convinced Hoss to dole out $175 for the machine, $25 less than what the owner originally asked. Still, that was not the end of their expenses.

How the Pawn Stars spent over $500 on a video game

Though they had bought the Pac-Man machine, Chumlee and Big Hoss still had some work to do. The cabinet itself was severely damaged. The plexiglass artwork on the top bore decades of scratches and cracks, and the machine itself wouldn't even turn on. They had to track down a game repair shop to find out if the arcade game could be saved.

Lo and behold, Chumlee and Big Hoss returned to the game shop days later to find their cabinet good-as-new. The damaged plexiglass had been replaced, complete with shiny new artwork. Likewise, the game actually worked. At some point, one of the cabinet's previous owners attempted to modify the game into a Ms. Pac-Man cabinet (a common modification for the time). Unfortunately, they never finished the job. As a result, the game was left inoperable until the repairmen converted it back into the original game.

The whole affair cost an additional $350, making total expenses for the machine $525. That may seem like a lot, but evidently these machines are worth a lot to collectors. The game shop owner was adamant that Big Hoss and Chumlee could make at least $1,000 off of it in the long run.