Pack it up everyone, someone has caught them all. (And unless your name is Nick Johnson, it is not you.)
A man by the name of Nick Johnson has been touring the world over the last few weeks, feverishly trying to catch all of the Pokémon Go characters, posting updates to his Snapchat account, and today in Australia he finally did it. Johnson, a 28-year-old New Yorker who works at the startup Applico, traveled around the U.S. (predominately in New York and New Jersey) to catch all of the North American Pokémon. Once he crossed that hurdle, he received sponsorship from Expedia and Marriott Rewards to fly to Paris, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Tokyo to continue playing the game. He’s leaving for Japan tomorrow, but it will be a relaxed stay given that he’s already bagged every Pokémon available.
According to Johnson, he received help finding numerous hidden characters thanks to locals. "People tipped me off," he told me from Australia, 20 minutes after finding his last one. For example, in Paris, he was tipped off about a mysterious "Mr. Mime" Pokémon while giving a media interview. He dashed quickly to find the gem, and ultimately nabbed it around midnight while combing the streets in an Uber.
He says he found this last one, a Kangaskhan (which is a character exclusive to Australia and New Zealand), in a similar manner thanks to tips from people in Australia. It happened in the Sydney neighborhood of Hyde Park "right in front of a Tommy Bahama," he told me. He had spent that entire day looking for similar rare Pokémons.
Johnson wasn't the only jet-setter, mind you. There was another man named Peter Joey-Pham also traveling the world to catch them all, although he hadn’t received a sponsorship footing the bill. Joey-Pham ultimately halted his quest after getting hit by a car. Although, Johnson says he received anonymous messages on Snapchat from someone he believes was this competitor taunting him. Whether or not these messages came from Joey-Pham has not been confirmed.
In any case, Johnson has emerged the clear victor with a free global quest to boot. He added that this won’t stop him from playing the game, although maybe less frantically. He told me he's excited about the legendary Pokémon characters set to be released sometime in the future. He added that he'll continue updating his Snapchat (username nja212) with Pokémon Go-related tidbits.
But once this trip ends in a few days, it will be back to business as usual for the Brooklynite, albeit with a bit more social cachet.
UPDATE: Peter Joey-Pham reached out to Johnson after this story published saying the Snapchat messages did not come from him.
Slideshow Credits: 01 / Screenshots: courtesy of Nick Johnson;