The hit show 'Gold Rush' follows ambitious gold miners looking to make it big one nugget at a time.
One of the stars, Parker Schnabel is just 20-years-old and made a fortune last season raking in over $1 million dollars gold mining. This year he set the goal of earning over $2.5 million, and he's well on his way.
Even though he’s done well, Schnabel told Fox 411 “That's just because we’ve found a million dollars’ worth of gold doesn’t mean I’m a millionaire, we have a lot of costs … I have probably a lot more debt than the normal 20-year-old.”
Schnabel’s grandfather has been a major influence on his gold mining career. “My grandfather has always been doing this since I’ve been around. I grew up mining with him on the mine site and running equipment … finding gold has been my life from the time I could remember.”
"That’s a big reason why we’re on the show – him and I do have a very good relationship and that resonates with a lot of people," he added. "He’s definitely the reason that I’ve been successful … he is an old-school dude for sure.”
While Schnabel might be his own mine boss, his family isn’t afraid to put him in his place. “My grandpa gets a lot of credit for keeping me in line, but my whole family and community of Haines [Alaska] have done a lot for me … it’s a great way to grow up.”
At the job site, the day to day experience can be intense. “The toughest thing is that it’s very seasonal work and we basically have four months to make a year’s worth of money,” he said. “Not only is it difficult but it is also dangerous because everybody is working long hours, long days … from a safety standpoint, that’s risky.”
Looking ahead, Schnabel isn’t sure what his future holds. “I have no idea what I want to end up doing. I look forward to the next chapter in the book just like anybody else and I’m 20-years-old, I don’t think I need to know what I’m going to do, but right now I love what I’m doing … this is my dream job.”
Gold Rush airs Fridays at 9 PM on the Discovery Channel with a two-hour season finale airing March 6.