“Gold Rush” is a reality television series that follows a group of miners as they search for gold in various locations around the world. The show is filled with drama, excitement, and a lot of hard work, as the cast members try to strike it rich. If you’re a fan of “Gold Rush” and can’t get enough of the madcap mining hi-jinks that ensue in the Klondike, you might be asking yourself just how rich these miners really are—especially the cast members. We’ve put together this ranked list so you can learn all about their net worths, and their sources.
What is “Gold Rush”? A brief history and summary
If you’ve never heard of “Gold Rush”, you may be wondering what it’s all about. This is a Discovery Channel reality TV series that launched in 2010, set in Alaska and the Klondike region of Canada. The show follows teams of miners who search for gold deposits during the summer mining season. In short, it’s a show about people who are trying to find their fortune in the gold mining industry, and many have become quite successful. The main cast of “Gold Rush” consists of current miner Parker Schnabel and former miner Tony Beets, along with a team of miners: Fred Dodge, Rick Ness, Jack Hoffman, and his son Todd Hoffman. Other people famous for appearing in the show include Dave Turin and John Schnabel (Parker’s grandfather). From veteran miners to newbies, and not-so-great luck to grand successes, let’s get started on our countdown of the wealthiest cast members from “Gold Rush”!
Tony Beets: The Viking of Discovery’s “Gold Rush”
Tony Beets is a fan-favorite on the award-winning show, “Gold Rush”. He’s been dubbed the ‘Viking of Discovery’, and he certainly lives up to his name. Tony’s journey in the show began in 2011, in the 2nd season, although it has slowed down in recent years due to some health issues. Before joining the show, the Holland-born Canadian made a living milking cows, eventually venturing into mining. As a mine owner, Beets boasts an impressive list of accomplishments, earning him the title of the richest cast member on the show.
He has more than 30 years of experience in gold mining, which has allowed him to accumulate a massive fortune. Reports estimate that his net worth is around $15 million, as of 2023; he’s made his fortune from his two family-owned mines in the Yukon and he owns numerous dredges, heavy equipment used in gold mining operations, and even works in land development. Not only does he possess impressive wealth, but his leadership style sets him apart from other cast members on the show; he’s often seen encouraging and motivating his crew to achieve their goals, which has earned him admiration amongst fellow miners and fans alike.
When he’s not filming, the expert miner spends time on his family’s homestead, named Beets’ Island, located in the Klondike region of Yukon Territory, Canada. He’s an animal lover, regularly rescuing stray and endangered animals from all over the world.
Parker Schnabel: The Young Gun From “Gold Rush”
Parker is the young gun , but has been part of the show since its first season, and has since grown to become one of the most successful miners on the show. At only 23 years old, he already runs a formidable mining outfit that yields impressive amounts of gold each year. In fact, he’s estimated to be worth an impressive $8 million today—not bad for someone so young! This successful miner credits his grandfather’s tutelage for his success, who initially recruited him onto the family business at age 16, with a focus on teaching him to prioritize safety and efficiency when managing his own mine sites.
His grandfather’s lessons have certainly paid off— Parker managed to strike huge deals with major mining companies such as Kinross Gold Corp, and even hit record hauls totalling over $3 million in a single season! From his mining activities with his grandfather at a very young age, he is now one of the most successful miners on the show. Today, you can find Parker in Porcupine Creek, Alaska, as he carries on his grandfather’s legacy and broadens his expertise
Todd Hoffman: The Leader of Team Hoffman
Coming in at number three is Todd Hoffman, the leader of Team Hoffman. He may not have accumulated the most impressive net worth, but he certainly knows how to lead a team! It’s been estimated that Todd holds a net worth of $7 million–not bad for a gold miner! He started off as an aviation entrepreneur in Oregon, who had an idea of going find gold in Alaska. While recalling the mining trips his father took back in the ‘80s, he decided to follow in his footsteps. He initially invested his life savings of $250,000 into his first mining operation, the Quartz Creek Claim, took his crew up there, and had some success, but since then he’s run into various roadblocks both on and off the show.
The core of Team Hoffman lives on though, and Todd’s formed quite the “Gold Rush” family with his son Hunter, who is also currently working as part of the crew. He appeared in the show from the first season up to the eighth, having his fair share of successes, and amassing total earnings of $3 million from 2011 to 2013. It’s no wonder that he was able to pull together such an excellent team—his leadership skills are undeniable! Since leaving the show, he’s become involved in a wide range of ventures, from his own line of merchandise and clothing, to even writing a book about his experiences on the show. The line features the 316 Mining logo, while his book is entitled “Gold Rush: The Game”
John Schnabel: Grandpa of the Klondike
Number four on our list is the grandpa of the Klondike, John Schnabel, who when he passed away in 2016, had a net worth estimated at $7 million. John was born on 11 February 1920, and developed an incredible love for gold mining. In 2009, he was approached by Discovery Channel’s executive producers with an offer to feature him and his family in their new show; the first season debuted in December of 2010. In the show’s second season, he suffered a heart attack that became a storyline for that season, as he was well-respected by the cast and crew of “Gold Rush”, as well as his family.
As well as being a miner, John was also a farmer, and owned his own sawmill too. John was the old man on the hill who started Big Nugget Mine with his grandson, Parker Schnabel. He started off running an equipment shop in Alaska, and eventually took over several claims with the help of Parker. Over time he made numerous gold discoveries, and from 2012-2016 mined over 100 ounces of gold with Parker’s crew. He retired from the show in 2014 due to his declining health, but still appeared in the series from time to time, supporting his grandson, to whom before his unfortunate passing, he handed over Big Nugget Mine. John’s story is one of determination and hard work—a true testament to what can be accomplished when you keep going, no matter how tough things get. It’s clear that his legacy lasts on to this day.
Jack Hoffman: The Assisting Hand of Team Hoffman
Out of all the cast members we’ve mentioned, the one who’s probably had the least screen time is Jack Hoffman. He’s been with Team Hoffman since the start, and an invaluable help to his son Todd, and to his team in their search for gold. Jack is regularly featured in “Gold Rush”, helping out during clean-up and providing general support. He even took a larger role in Season 4, when he needed to step in for Todd at the Super Pit Mine after a near-fatal accident in 2012. So how did Jack do financially, compared to everyone else? Jack receives 8% of all profits from each season, which amounts to quite a hefty sum! According to Celebrity Net Worth, Jack Hoffman’s net worth stands at $4 million, pretty impressive for an assisting hand!
Dave Turin: The Dozer Dave From “Gold Rush”
When it comes to the richest cast members on “Gold Rush”, if you don’t follow the show too closely, you might not know about Dave Turin – he’s the guy who pops out from behind machines and shouts ‘Dozer Dave!’. He has a degree in civil engineering, after which he went back home to run the family-owned rock quarry. He joined the Hoffman Mine in Season 2 as a bulldozer operator, his job beings to shift dirt around, to hopefully uncover gold. He started off as a miner at Big Nugget Mine in Season 2 and then eventually opened his own quarry — Dave Turin’s Lost Mine in Seasons 5-7. He stayed with team Hoffman until Season 6, when he set out to pursue his own venture at Oregon’s Quartz Creek Mine. He returned in Season 8, but soon left again to join Parker’s team—the youngest person ever to appear on the show.
When Parker moved the mining operations up north in Season 9, Dave returned home again. According to authoritative sources, Dozer Dave has an estimated net worth of $4 million; amongst his most impressive feats is as the ‘Gold King’ on the show after he managed to turn around a failing mine in record time, and walked away with huge profits. He’s now looking to expand his success, and buy even bigger properties to tackle larger projects, and continue expanding his wealth. After leaving the show, he started his own mining consultation firm until 2019, when he starred in the spin-off: “Gold Rush: Dave Turin’s Lost Mines”. Fans can also find him on Instagram, on which he has an impressive following of 32,000 fans.
Dave Turin has a new crew, and a new claim this season→ http://t.co/SlmjSQjA0H pic.twitter.com/V6v1mo2Fj2
— Gold Rush (@Gold_Rush) October 21, 2014
Ness joined the cast of “Gold Rush” in the show’s second season, which aired in 2011. He initially worked as a member of the Hoffman crew led by Todd Hoffman, before eventually striking out on his own as a mine boss. Over the years, Ness has become known for his strong work ethic, his ability to operate heavy machinery, and his tenacity in the face of challenges. Throughout his time on the show, Ness has faced numerous setbacks and obstacles, including the death of his mother, equipment breakdowns, natural disasters, and disputes with fellow miners. However, he’s also enjoyed many successes, including uncovering several lucrative gold deposits and achieving record-breaking gold yields.
Unlike his castmates, Rick didn’t start off in mining, in fact, he was an athlete for many years before suffering a serious injury, after which he became a musician. He released a number of albums with singles including, “Hard Road” and “Kindness is Contagious”, and while on tour with his band, happened to make a stop in Alaska, where he met Parker. Not long afterwards he received an invitation to work with Parker, and the rest is history.
Ness left the show in 2019, to start his own mining operation in the Yukon. He currently runs his own mining company, Rick Ness Mining, which focuses on exploring and developing gold mines in the area. Ness has also remained involved in the world of entertainment, continuing to make appearances on TV shows, sharing his life online and hosting his own podcast, “Nessie Knows”. As of 2023, he has an estimated net worth of $3 million.
Out of the cast members on Discovery Channel’s “Gold Rush”, some have left the show, while others have stayed and made it big. As you’ve seen from this list, some of the cast members are earning hefty amounts with their gold mining ventures. Todd Hoffman was the initial lead of the show but has since left and moved on to other opportunities—having earned a huge sum during his time on the show. Currently, Tony Beets remains at the top with a net worth of $15 million while Rick Ness comes last at $3 million. From this comprehensive list, you can see that all seven men are doing quite well for themselves financially speaking—indicating that gold mining can be a great business. In addition to these wealth gains, viewers get treated to an entertaining, edge-of-your-seat kind of show; earning an increased viewership each month.
From Tony Beets’ impressive net worth to Rick Ness’ inspiring rags to riches story, the cast members of “Gold Rush” have certainly had their share of success, the majority of them in gold mining, what’s even more impressive is how much wealth they’ve amassed over the years, showing that hard work and dedication can pay off. It’s inspiring to see how much they have accomplished, and with continued focus and determination, continuing to build their fortunes. So, whether you’re a fan of the show or not, it’s worth learning a little something from the masters of gold mining. If these cast members have inspired you to start your own gold hunt, you can use their examples as a starting point for your journey!