Rare Lewis Hamilton playing card makes super-fan rich overnight

Oliver Harden
Lewis Hamilton holding a Brazilian flag. Sao Paulo, November 2021.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton holds a Brazilian flag other his shoulders on the podium. Sao Paulo, November 2021.

A Canadian teenager has won the jackpot after selling a rare Lewis Hamilton playing card for a sum worth more than £700,000.

Jean-Nicolas Gagnon, 16, and his father Nicholas, of Quebec, recently featured on the Netflix show King of Collectibles: The Goldin Touch in which people buy or sell items considered to be rare or unusual.

According to Canada’s CTV News, Gagnon is said to have appeared as he was the owner of the only Topps Chrome F1 Superfractor 1/1 Lewis Hamilton card in existence.

The card features a portrait of Hamilton with facts including his height and weight – as well as a detailed season-by-season breakdown of his career statistics – on the flip side.

The youngster found the card in a regular pack worth £40, with the signature of Hamilton – the most successful driver in F1 history as a seven-time World Champion and the winner of 103 grands prix – increasing its value.

As the show unfolds, the pair are informed that a private bidder wants to buy the card for £599,000 – a figure that leaves the father shellshocked.

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“When I heard that amount, I almost fell backwards,” he says.

“I never thought a little piece of cardboard could be worth that much.”

It was to get even better for them, however, with collector Armando Gutierrez making an undisclosed offer known to be higher than the original proposal.

The figure, accepted by father and son, has since been confirmed by Goldin’s auction website as £718,623 – the largest sum ever received for an F1 card.

“I’m your favourite son,” Jean-Nicolas remarked to his father upon discovering the true value of the card.

F1 announced an exclusive multi-year partnership with Topps, a leading brand in the trading cars and collectibles industry, in September 2020 with the aim of bringing “the excitement of Formula 1 to new and existing fans.”

The first card to be released as part of the deal marked Pierre Gasly’s emotional victory for Red Bull junior team AlphaTauri in the 2020 Italian Grand Prix at Monza with F1 also going on to launch its own dedicated sticker albums.

The news of the record card sale comes as Hamilton’s value on the track appears to be struggling to maintain its lofty standards, with the British driver’s Mercedes team unable to recapture their former glories since the new-for-2022 regulations were introduced.

Hamilton suffered the first winless season of his storied career last season and has been outqualified by team-mate George Russell at four of the first five rounds of 2023, though he leads his team-mate by 16 points in the Drivers’ standings at this early stage of the season.