New Zealand Man Quits Job to Become Full-Time Pokemon GO Player

“The prize is being the very best Pokemon Trainer,” the 24-year-old says

Last Updated: July 19, 2016 @ 6:11 PM

New Zealand-born Tom Currie has fallen hook, line and sinker for the Pokemon GO craze. So much so, in fact, that he called his boss, handed in his resignation, packed his bags and set out to travel his island nation in search of the 151 virtual creatures.

“When I resigned, I didn’t tell my manager I was going out into the world to hunt Pokemon,” the 24-year-old Aucklander told Newsbeat. “But after my story got picked up I gave him a courtesy call to update him just in case the media contacted him. I got an absolutely lovely response, ‘Good on you Tom. It is really funny. I hope everything is OK. Have fun for your Pokemon trip.'”

Currie says his parents were, naturally, a little baffled by his decision to become a professional Pokemon hunter. The tide later changed, though, once the former bartender hit the road and began getting positive press. “My dad sent through a text message saying he always knew I would be famous,” Currie said.

“Playing Pokemon is an awesome way to get around and explore new places,” he told “Checkpoint with John Campbell,” a New Zealand-based radio show. “I want to catch all 151. Hopefully when they release the new ones, I’ll still be into it then. I would say so!”

And the prize if he does catch them all? “The prize is being the very best Pokemon Trainer,” he joked. “There’s millions of us out there now. Everybody wants to be the best. As far as I can see, so far I’m doing pretty well.