Winning a million dollars doesn’t change the world according to the famous TV commercial, but for a sports collector, finding a very rare card from a rookie hockey player like Alexis Lafrenière can be a huge gain.
Marco Varin, a 23-year-old from Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, wondered if he was dreaming when he opened a pack of «Hockey Upper Deck Series 1» cards on Friday. His eyes opened very wide and his heart raced as he got his hands on a rookie «High Gloss» card from Alexis Lafrenière, drafted first by the New York Rangers at the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
Only 10 copies of this card were boxed in North America and Marco was fortunate to be the recipient of one of these treasures. The young man with a career in sales has appropriated the card numbered 8th of 10. So far, 4 collectors have been very lucky on the North American continent.
We already knew that the bidding would be crazy for this card and less than 48 hours after its discovery, Marco Varin was enriched by $ 13,000 from a Montreal buyer who works in this field, «CF31 Cartes Sportives».
What a coincidence
The popular saying goes “as luck would have it” and in the case of Marco Varin, the stars have aligned wonderfully well. On Friday, he bought 5 boxes of the “Hockey Upper Deck 1” series at the “Sport Collect 2010” store owned by Daniel Émond in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield.
Opening the packages at his residence, Marco is pleased to have obtained in the first 4 boxes 3 «regular» rookie cards of the «Young Guns» type from Alexis Lafrenière, the value of which is estimated at $ 400 each.
“I considered myself very lucky and gave the 5th box of cards to a friend who was looking for a box. Finally, my friend changed his mind and he didn’t buy it. I started to open the packs from the 5th box and had a total of 6 rookie cards when my jaw dropped to find Lafrenière High Gloss. It makes me believe that I was destined to have this precious card”, says Marco Varin.
Normally, each box contains 6 of the 50 different rookie cards in the Upper Deck series. “The chances were slim that I would find another rookie card in that 5th box, Lafrenière’s or others, so I unwrapped the other packages with a certain nonchalance.
I saw an Alex Belzile card from the Canadiens and continued on, thinking others would be in the box by mistake. We now know what happens next”, recounts the collector, who has been engaged in this hobby for only 6 months.
In shock, Marco Varin was literally shaking and inserting the coveted card into a protective plastic took 15 minutes of painstaking work. The card was in pristine condition and shortly after posting it on social media, the citizen of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield was visited by a team of experts for analysis.
The representatives of «CE31 Cartes Sportives» gave a score of 9.5 out of 10 and, as a result, the sales process took its course. Today, Marco Varin considers himself lucky that his grandfather left him a shabby rookie card from Maurice Richard, which sparked his interest in collecting sports cards.
Marco Varin intends to spend the sum of $ 13,000 as a down payment for the purchase of a house. “This whole thing happened at the right time. I was laid off due to COVID-19 and I’m happy to take the money”, says Marco Varin.