Pokémon Go is the video game that has everyone talking. The interactive hit blends the virtual world of Pokémon with the real world, and it has people across the globe going outdoors with just one goal: gotta catch ’em all.
A Brooklyn man is laying claim to being the first person to catch all 142 Pokémon available in the United States. CNN reached out to Nintendo and Triplepoint PR, the firm representing Pokémon, for confirmation and has not yet received a response.
“You want to catch ’em all and become a Pokémon master, [it’s] the childhood dream, but it never really occurred to me I might be the first one to do it until I got pretty close,” said Nick Johnson.
Pokemon Go hit the United States on July 6. Johnson said he caught about 135 Pokémon in the first week and a half of playing the game and once he realized how close he was, he figured he would go all the way.
He told CNN it took him almost exactly two weeks to catch them all. The final capture happened just after midnight on July 21 in New York’s Central Park, a popular Pokémon hot spot. Johnson was with a group of friends he made while playing the game, he said.
“Everyone kind of let out a little cheer and it was kind of a fun moment,” he said with a chuckle.
The 28-year-old says that despite some sleepless nights and full days spent on “Poké walks,” playing the game didn’t really interfere with his life. Johnson said he works about 50 hours a week at the startup Applico. After work he’d meet his girlfriend for dinner and the two of them would go on walks catching Pokémon together, though he’d often stay out later than she.
“She was very supportive through all this,” he said, adding that she is also a big Pokémon fan.
According to Johnson he spent anywhere between six to 10 hours a night walking around the city, staying up as late as 4 or 5 a.m. toward the end of his journey.
The road to Pokémon mastery was certainly not without adventure. Johnson said the craziest thing he did to catch one was order an Uber to drive him around Jersey City after another player tipped him off to an abundance of Dratini, a kind of Pokémon, there.
“I had the driver drive me around for a little bit until I found it. Luckily it didn’t take me too long, so it wasn’t too big of an Uber bill,” he said with a laugh.
Catching them all isn’t quite the end of the journey for Johnson. He said there are three regional Pokémon that are not available in the United States. The region exclusive Pokémon are Mr. Mime in Europe, Farfetch’d in Japan and Kangaskhan in Australia and New Zealand, but he’ll soon have help catching those, too.
Johnson told CNN that Marriott Rewards offered to partner with him for the rest of his journey. A spokesperson for Marriott confirmed, saying, “Marriott Rewards will be helping Nick on his international journey to catch the last remaining Pokémon.”
Johnson said the details are still in the works but he’s very excited about the chance to take his skills internationally. In the meantime, “I’ll probably be sleeping a little more regularly,” he said.
With Pokémon fever sweeping the globe, players all around the world are joining in, sometimes to extreme degrees:
— Two Canadian teens accidentally wandered across the international border into Montana while playing the game. Border patrol agents quickly spotted them and sent them back home to their mom, with the agency saying, “Both juveniles were so captivated by Pokémon Go games they lost track of where they were.”
— A reporter was called out playing the game during a press briefing. The whole incident was caught on camera. U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby asked the reporter, “You’re playing the Pokémon thing there aren’t you?” The sheepish, unidentified reporter responded, “I’m just keeping an eye on it.”
— Two men in their early 20s lucked out in California after surviving falling of a cliff while playing Pokémon Go. Despite the game’s warning to be aware of your surroundings, the two men fell an estimated 50 to 90 feet. Both were transported to a hospital with injures.
— An Oregon man, meanwhile, didn’t let injuries stop him from playing. He told CNN affiliate KPTV he was stabbed while searching for Pokémon in a park at 1 a.m. After the incident he played on, even stopping by a convenience store for chips and beer before eventually getting medical attention. He walked away from the incident with eight stitches and an undetermined number of Pokémon.