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The Gold Rush Star You Didn't Know Comes From Mining Royalty

Discovery's hit reality show "Gold Rush" has proven throughout its run on TV that mining for gold is not a thing of the past. Modern-day miners are alive, well, and making money through the age-old trade. "Gold Rush" first debuted in 2010 to showcase expert miners in the Western Hemisphere. The show follows a group of miners and, as with most reality TV shows, the cast members have left quite an impression on viewers at home who likely wouldn't have met the characters if it weren't for the series. 

One fan-favorite miner since the beginning of "Gold Rush" is Parker Schnabel. Schnabel first appeared on the show when he was just a teen, with his family mining dynamics playing a major part of the story. Since the beginning, the young miner with a red-hot temper has been through pretty much everything on the series — getting shot at, encountering wild animals, and securing a few impressive loots. But while Parker feels like a viewer's friend at this point, his family history in the mining industry is quite monumental. 

Parker Schnabel comes from a long line of expert miners

Parker Schnabel doesn't just look like an expert miner on "Gold Rush" — mining for gold is literally in his blood. Big Nugget Mine in Porcupine Creek, Alaska is a regular setting for the show, and it was owned by Parker's grandfather John Schnabel before he passed it on to his grandson. John developed the famous mining company The Golden Nugget back in the '80s and worked as an active miner until 2014, just two years before his death at the age of 96 (via Discovery GO). 

Parker took over John's mining company at a young age. And despite spearheading a team of much older miners, his expertise and inherent leadership skills has transformed him into a central figure of the operation. According to Discovery GO, Parker even took the hefty college fund set up by his family when he was just a baby to dump into the mining business. While he's surely seen plenty of successes in his mining days, it's clear he does the work because he's passionate about mining — with the money being an added bonus.