With no time to save his disabled son, Fran Sawyer reluctantly decided to sell his belongings to a pawnshop.
A single mother of two takes full-time care of her 16-year-old son, who needs to see a nerve specialist before it’s too late.
Fran’s son was born with cancer and weighed just 3 pounds, while the tumor on his back weighed 6 pounds, leaving doctors fearing he would not live beyond 7 years.
“It has been very difficult for him. Now that he is 16, I can get him help. That help needs to be soon or I will lose him,” said Fran, who needs money to take his son to a nerve specialist. .
Fran was married to a businessman and had a 3-acre home with drivers and 17 horses, but she struggled after they divorced looking after her disabled son.
Now Fran hopes to give her son a better quality of life with her “pot of gold”, a watch she inherited from her uncle and some jewelry, but the stakes are incredibly high.
She turns to third-generation pawnbroker Dan, who runs one of the many companies that turn people’s belongings into cash.
Most people have the image of a pawnshop as a dirty alley shop, but the landscape has changed and they now deal with helicopters, yachts and supecars.
The second oldest profession, pawnbrokers earn money by buying valuables and selling them at a profit.
They also pay to borrow items and earn money with interest, but the problem is that if you can’t pay the money back, those assets are sold and the pawnbroker recovers the money.
It’s a lifeline for people who are rich in assets and poor in money, but Fran admits, “Pawnbrokers, well, we all need them because you never know. But I wouldn’t trust them as much as I could play them.”
Fran wants to sell a luxury Patek Philippe watch that he won from his uncle, which he won in a poker game, as well as a pair of earrings.
She hopes to receive £ 15,000 for the watch and £ 2,000 for the earrings, but pawnbroker Dan is concerned that they may not be real.
If they are genuine, the money he runs can change Fran’s life, but with the fake watch market booming, Dan needs expert advice or he could lose his pocket.
Watch expert Josh explains that 40 million counterfeits are made each year, but the one her uncle gave Fran is “undoubtedly” true.
He tells Dan that this incredibly desirable brand of watch is “recession proof” and is worth a considerable sum of money.
The nervous Fran didn’t sleep much the night before the big reveal.
The worried and nervous mother hopes to receive £ 17,000 to finance her son’s life-changing operation, but admits that she fears that her items will be worth much less.
But she is shocked when pawnbroker Dan explains that she has a very special watch model – with only a few thousand already made.
Fran’s jaw drops to the floor when Dan reveals that he is willing to pay £ 85,000 of tears for her eyes.
Wiping the tears away, Fran says, “This will help a lot, because I have been struggling for 16 years with my son being sick. That would just be life changing for us.”
However, that is not all, as there is still the small issue of earrings, which contain an antique cut of diamonds that are incredibly popular.
Dan offers Fran an incredible £ 75,000 for the earrings that have been left in a jewelry box for 12 years, bringing the total to £ 155,000 that changed his life.
“No way. It just didn’t come in. Bright, I’m in the clouds. In fact, I feel really bad,” admits Fran emotionally.
“He’s sitting there, with white teeth, smiling and me thinking, ‘What is he doing.]? ‘I felt like I was going to pass out and cry. I just can’t believe it. It doesn’t happen to me. “
In addition to paying for her son’s medical bills, Fran says she will celebrate with a kebab and four beers over the weekend as a treat.
While Dan remains very shy about how much he will earn from the deal and does not reveal the full amount.
“One of the best aspects of being a PB is telling someone that your item is worth a lot more than they thought,” he says.
“The expression on their faces is priceless. I still make money from it, but it is priceless.”
“Is £ 155,000 a good deal for me? It’s a good deal. I’m happy to have crossed the line, for Fran’s sake. I also made a decent profit.”
The first episode of this new ITV series opens the curtain on the moneylendering world in the midst of the current economic crisis, telling the story of both moneylenders and people seeking to separate themselves from their valuable assets.
With over a million pounds in assets passing through the hands of Britain’s pawnbrokers every day, there is no way to plan what values can come through the door.
The series opens the door to this fast-moving and often profitable industry, telling the story of people with incredible assets and eye-catching gambling; both for owners and pawnbrokers who try to close the deal and make a profit.
With unforgettable characters, touching stories and a variety of incredible assets, this series will reveal the emotional and financial stakes at stake in the often hidden world of pawn.
* Million Pound Pawn will air on ITV tonight at 9 pm