Gold Rush is kind of a no-brainer when it comes to reality TV. People are obsessed with getting rich quick, and when it comes to precious metals, there are fewer "rare" materials that get humanity going more than gold. We've been obsessed with it as a species for thousands and thousands of years. Combine our affinity for the "ooh shiny" soft metal with a colorful cast of characters, like Rick Ness, who are always on the lookout for the perfect mining spot each year, and you've got yourself some reality TV "gold" (heh heh).
Where will Rick Ness be mining this year on Gold Rush?
The cut-off T-shirt, Miller-High-Life pounding miner is taking his chances on Keno City, which is known for "legendary monster nuggets." The show's Executive Producer, James Bates, spoke briefly about Rick's newest mining site: "It's one of these Wild West abandoned gold mining towns with a population of about six people."
But would why Rick pick an abandoned mining town?
Surely, there must be a reason why it's been left to rot by the majority of its prior inhabitants, that usually means that all of the gold has dried up already which is why people have decided to pack up and leave. Maybe Rick is thinking that he can bring some modern-day gold-mining techniques into the area and find some untapped ginormous nuggets that are just waiting to be plucked from the earth so he hits another million dollar payday like he did last season?
Where is Keno City located?
Situated at the end of the Silver Trail Highway in Yukon, Canada, Keno City was once a thriving silver mining town that first experienced an industrial boom in 1919. It was originally named after the popular gambling game, but started flourishing from all of the minerals, not just silver, that were found there.
The largesse didn't last, however, and after several decades, the United Keno Hill shut the mines down in 1989, literally overnight.
Keno decided to shift its business model away from mining for precious materials to tourism, and it seemed to work like a charm. Playing up the fact that it's a quaint and insular small little town, it's done fairly well for itself. Visitors mainly check out the Keno Mining Museum that features a variety of different mining materials and tools, along with local historical facts. Singer/songwriter Megan Haddock even made a tribute to Keno City with her track, "Small Town".
Rick Ness' career and net worth:
Rick joined Gold Rush in the show's third season and has been a fan-favorite. And he's currently worth some $600,000. He's got tons of experience working with heavy machinery thanks to the time he spent in his family's construction business, and was a standout football star in high school and college. Sadly, a traumatic head injury put a stop to his professional sports career, but he still had other interests outside of pigskin to pursue.
Rick's been a lifelong music lover, and played upright bass in the .357 String Band. In an interview with Monsters and Critics Rick revealed how he ended up getting the gig: "I must have been 22 or 23 years old. I went to a concert to see a different band. But this other band was opening up. Their bass was terrible… I mean absolutely awful. So I approached them after the show. And asked them to give me a shot. And that’s how I ended up in the band. That was around 2003."
His foray into gold-mining happened almost out of nowhere. He met up with another young miner, Parker Schnabel, while touring with his band and said that he wanted to get into the business, despite having zero experience in digging for gold. Some 9 months later, Parker gave him a ring and offered him a job on his crew as a grader, dozer, loader. Rick was a whiz on the excavator and rock truck, which made for a profitable partnership for the two men.
Rick spent six years under Parker until he decided to venture out on his own with his own mining outfit. He's been managing a team since the ninth season of the popular Discovery Channel show, and has enjoyed some decent success with his ventures. He hopes to continue the streak in the series' latest season.
You can check out Rick's progress on Gold Rush on Fridays, at 9 p.m. on the Discovery Channel.