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The Gold Rush Season That Broke A Money-Making Record

Of all the reality show hits that have aired on Discovery, "Gold Rush" is arguably the most consistently thrilling. Set amid several locations in North and South America, the series follows the efforts of family-owned gold mining operations. Though characters have come and gone in the series' 12-seasons (and counting) run on Discovery, it details the often perilous work of excavation crews fronted by ambitious bosses ready to put everything on the line in service of striking it rich.

Among those bosses, there's little question that Parker Schnabel — who started on "Gold Rush" as a precocious high schooler working his grandfather's mine in Alaska — is the clear fan-favorite of the series. And, at 27 years of age, he's also become one of the most successful miners in the history of the reality series, with his crew regularly running circles around his more seasoned co-stars. Schnabel and his crew have become so successful that they've actually scored a couple of lofty paydays in recent seasons that have straight obliterated prior "Gold Rush" records.  

Schnabel's crew have casually broken records on Gold Rush

The first time Parker Schnabel and his crew broke the single-season record was in 2018, during Discovery's ninth season of "Gold Rush." As fans of the series no doubt recall, Season 9 began on the rocky side for Schabel's crew. But, as the season progressed, the veteran miner managed to turn things around in a big way. By season's end, the Schnabel faction had pulled in a major haul with more than 7,400 ounces of gold worth nearly $8.5 million, as revealed on Discovery and in a clip from Discovery Channel's YouTube page.

Believe it or not, Schnabel's haul the very next season was worth even more, with his crew weighing in with $10.8 million worth of gold. Oddly enough, they did not break their own record in terms of ounces, falling just short of Season 9's take, according to Discovery UK's YouTube. Perhaps frustrated by the shortcoming, Schnabel returned with a fury in the eleventh season of "Gold Rush." In spite of a COVID-19 pandemic-shortened mining season, he and his steadfast crew destroyed both their record for ounces of gold mined in a season and the total value of their haul. They turned up more than 7,500 ounces of the gold stuff, which is worth approximately $14 million (via Discovery).

Only time will tell if Schnabel can top that massive haul in Season 12 of "Gold Rush," which is currently airing on Discovery. But, given the run he's on, only a fool would bet against him.