A hacker who was sentenced to pay Nintendo 25-30% of his salary for the rest of his life has claimed that being discovered was a ‘gift’.

Gary Bowser, like Mario, was released from prison in March 2023 for his role in the hacker group Team Xecuter.

The organization worked to develop mod chips, cartridges, and jailbreaking software for game consoles, effectively making games free to play and, as a result, making Nintendo an enemy.

Bowser told UNILAD that he was primarily responsible for’maintaining the two huge websites’ utilized by the gang.

READ MORE: Nintendo To Give ‘Mario Kart’ To Senior Retirement Home Residents In Japan

“My role was basically to post the news of updates and keep the forums running, and later on I got involved as middleman between the developers and those selected to beta test updates and review new products,” he stated.

In exchange, Bowser claimed he was paid a $500 monthly wage plus the proceeds from adverts on one of the websites, which he claims ranged from $1k to $3k per month.

Bowser claimed that he ‘didn’t think there would be much risk’ when he left Canada to reside in the Dominican Republic, but his actions backfired when he was arrested and sentenced to 40 months in prison in the United States.

He was given early release in 2023, but he still owing Nintendo $10 million in restitution plus a $4.5 million fine. In an attempt to repay his debt, Bowser agreed with Nintendo that the firm might deduct portions of his compensation.

READ MORE: The Nintendo Switch Online Store Has Revealed New Metroid Prime Freebies

Bowser, speaking on his progress with the payment, stated that he has been unable to get a stable employment, instead relying on money accumulated while working in prison, disability payments for a medical problem, and support from a GoFundMe page.

“Just a few weeks ago the government approved my disability, so now starting in June at least my basic bills will be covered, my rent and utilities, but it’s still going to be tough food-wise,” Bowser stated.

The former hacker has done some freelance work building up websites for clients, but he says it’s been ‘difficult to find meaningful job’ because his education was in the ’80s and 90s’.

READ MORE: Microsoft Has Signed A 10-Year Agreement To Bring Xbox Games To Nintendo Consoles

“A lot of companies are looking for younger workers with latest certifications in technology, so I need to do some online courses to get more updated papers to match my skills,” he stated.

With that in mind, Bowser confessed he is unlikely to pay up Nintendo anytime soon.

“I am barely making ends meet each month, so unless magically I win the lottery or get a book deal or something amazing happens and I end up getting high-paying job or making lots of money… this is just going to be looming figure over me for many years to come,” he stated.

Despite the looming fine, Bowser is grateful to have been brought to justice.

READ MORE: The Nintendo Switch Has Surpassed The PlayStation 4 And Game Boy To Become The Third Best-Selling Console Of All Time

He clarified: “Life is path of choices, I made the wrong one, that is for sure, but in some ways I look at result now, after all this happened, as a blessing.”

Bowser explained that when he was arrested, he was on a ‘downward spiral’, adding, “I was drinking too much each day in the Dominican Republic, gaining too much weight as well.”

“Time in jail helped me take a deep hard look at my life, resolve some personal issues on why I was drinking daily, and now I’m back in Canada I have been able to reconnect with those that truly care and loved me as friend and human being,” he stated.

“That’s been very helpful in getting my life restarted, so I am now back on track and looking forward to having many more decades of living.”

Bowser went on to say, “My health and well-being are now my top priorities in life, and I value having folks who actually care about me. “No more stupid sh*t!”