History Channel's The Curse of Oak Island has fans wanting to ditch their everyday lives and set out for a new existence on the island. Even if you aren't one for the excavation and physical labor it would probably take to make it rich there, we can still dream.
Who can even visit the island is up to its owners, so who actually owns Oak Island? Even though the History Channel has the OK to film there, that's no indication they have any ownership over the land.
In fact, Oak Island has become a tourist destination over the years, so it may make sense that no one person owns it. Even still, the exposure the island is gaining from the show has only made Oak Island more popular and has even more people wanting to push their luck.
Who owns Oak Island?
According to their website, Oak Island is primarily owned by Oak Island Tours Inc. It doesn't say exactly how much of the island it owns, but it says the "majority property interest" is held by the company.
But, according to an article on History's website, the land is owned by the Oak Island Society. This is an ownership group that stars of The Curse of Oak Island, Rick and Marty Lagina, are a part of.
The article goes on to say that the Oak Island Society owns about 78 percent of the land, including the Money Pit that put the island on the map. The other 22 percent is owned by individuals. There are a few homes on the island that some people own and live in seasonally, but there are also two permanent residents on the island.
However, there's a plot twist — an article on History's U.K. website says that Oak Island Tours Inc. owns 50 percent of the island and that in 2006, the Lagina Brothers bought a 50 percent stake in the tour company, making them partial owners. The other 50 percent of the company is owned by Dan Blankenship, a resident of the island.
The Lagina Brothers had very different careers before Oak Island.
Rick and Marty Lagina may be known as the stars of The Curse of Oak Island now, but that wasn't always their job. Marty studied science and mechanical engineering at Michigan Tech, according to History's U.K. website. After graduating in 1977, he took a job at a major oil firm. He then went on to get a law degree and founded his own natural gas extraction company called Terra Energy Ltd.
Later on, Marty sold that company for $60 million and continued to invest in various companies over time.
On the other hand, Rick is more private about his life before Oak Island, but we do know he worked for the U.S. Postal Service. After he retired, he and Marty made lives for themselves on the island. They had apparently known about Oak Island years beforehand, but it was Rick who had first become really interested in it and wanted to know more.
The Curse of Oak Island airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on History.