Reality personality Austin Chumlee Russell is the cast member of the reality television show “Pawn Stars.” He’s the guy that seems to get made fun of the most, but he’s able to give back as much as the rest of the cast dishes out. He doesn’t come across like a guy that is fabulously rich, but the truth of the matter is that he’s a very rich man. Chumlee as he’s known on the show has an estimated net worth of $5 million. How did he come to be so wealthy? Was it all from his work on the show? We looked into it and here is what we found.
His early days
Chumlee was born in September of 1982. He was born Austin Russell and he was given the nickname Chumlee by his father. Austin reminded his dad of the walrus named Chumley on the Tennessee Tuxedo cartoon. It’s a nickname that hung around and soon became the name that he answered to. He was best friends with Corey Harrison, Rick Harrison’s son. Rick and his father Richard Sr. founded the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in 1989 in Las Vegas. This is how he came to know the Harrisons who own the shop and are stars of the television series.
His first job
The Harrisons hired Chumlee to work for them at their pawn shop when he turned 21. Prior to becoming a reality television star, Chumlee was a pawn shop worker, doing pretty much what you see him doing today. The shop got its first exposure to television when it was chosen to be a feature on “Insomniac with Date Attell,” on Comedy Central. The episode aired and was well received. After that, Rick Harrison stepped up to the plate to negotiate with a variety of production companies to try to get the show on the air. There were a lot of turndowns, but finally, The History Channel picked them up.
Chumlee as a unique character
Chumlee may come across as a bumbler at times but he’s legitimately funny and fans love him. He’s a professional in his own right and he has a working knowledge of the value of collectible items. He has several collections of his own including vintage pinball machines, and shoes. He also has some great haggling skills. He’s an asset to the shop as well as for his own personal financial health. He is a lot sharper than he acts on the show. He’s been with the show since it first aired in 2009. His pay is $25,000 per episode and with his ability to wrangle the best deals on high end items, it’s fair to say that he’s made his fortune through the Pawn Shop, with some of the credit due to the fact that it’s a part of a major reality television show. He has several talents and he puts them all to very good use making money for appearing on the show and on side deals where he usually makes a decent profit.
Chumlee’s car collection
Chumlee is definitely a collector and he just happens to have impeccable taste and an eye for value in the vehicles that he adds to his personal collection. He once wheeled and cut an exceptional deal for a Maserati. The car was valued at $100,000 but he talked the dealer into giving it to him for a mere $85,000. This gave him an instant boost of $15,000, which he’s good at doing. Chumlee also has in his collection a 1964 Impala SS, a Cadillac Escalade, a Range Rover and a Rolls-Royce Phantom. The value of his car collection alone is over a million.
Appearances can be deceiving
Although the other guys poke fun at Chumlee and he seems to go along with it, he gets them back. He’s not only patient and willing to wait for the ideal opportunity to strike back, he also knows when to pass on a deal and when to go for the gusto and engage his haggling instinct. His ways do seem to be a bit unorthodox and although he might sound like he’s unsure of himself, you can bet that he knows exactly what he’s doing and this is why he’s worth $5 million today.