‘Pawn Stars’: How Did Chumlee Get His Job on Show?

by Jacklyn Krol
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How did Chumlee, real name Austin Lee Russell, join the cast of Pawn Stars?

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Rick Harrison spoke about Chumlee and how he was added to the gang. He began working at the pawn shop five years before the first season was filmed. He was a childhood friend of Corey along with his father and grandfather, who founded the shop.

Chumlee officially began working at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop when he was 21. Pawn Stars began filming in July 2009. His duties at the time included working behind the counter, testing items, loading, and writing tickets for purchased items.

When Rick was asked if his family, including his father, gets along with Chumlee, he confirmed that they are all family.

“They actually like each other, yes,” he confessed. “They drive each other nuts over the way they dress, though. I mean Chumlee is always saying, ‘Come on, just please, go out and buy a nice suit.’ And The Old Man says, ‘As long as you get one with me.'”

While they aren’t blood, their relationship is like family. They even attend holidays at the Harrison household together.

“No, he was [Rick’s son] Corey [Harrison]’s childhood best friend, and I’ve helped him out a lot in his life. Christmas morning, he will be at the house.”

How Much Does Chumlee Make?

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Chumlee makes $25,000 per episode. This doesn’t include extras like personal appearances. With approximately 30 episodes a season, that comes to be a $5 million salary per season.

With his giant paycheck, he invested in a “party palace” in Las Vegas. He recently sold the estate for $1,383,700. We’re sure he would be on the hunt for something even more extravagant. The impressive mansion featured nine bedrooms, eight bathrooms and a guest house. It was complete with a pool, movie theater game room, lounge, and even a vault.

‘Pawn Stars’ Weight Loss Surgeries

Pawn Stars workers Chumlee and Corey Harrison had gastric sleeve surgery, known as the “stomach staple” procedure. Essentially, it makes the stomach smaller, making the person be satisfied with just smaller portions of food.

Corey Harrison first went under the knife. He eliminated all processed foods from his diet and lost over 192 pounds.

“I could never go back to weighing as much as I did. It made me realize what I ate, how I ate and what I did to myself,” Corey told People back in 2014. He considered it his “wow moment” to wake him up about his health.

“It was time for me to get healthy,” Corey admitted. “When I first began, I eliminated all processed foods except mustard. Now ‘everything in moderation’ is my motto.”

Meanwhile, Chumlee has lost over 150 pounds and underwent the procedure after being inspired by Corey. But the weight loss wasn’t just surgical, you have to keep up a diet and healthy lifestyle regimen. Chumlee also decided to no longer eat processed foods.

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