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The Untold Truth Of Marty Lagina From The Curse Of Oak Island

The History Channel's "The Curse of Oak Island" is one of the biggest shows on that network right now. It prominently features treasure hunting brothers Rick and Marty Lagina as they excavate Nova Scotia's Oak Island for buried treasure. They're joined on occasion by fellow treasure hunters like Gary Drayton and even sometimes Marty's son, Alex. It's a huge project for the network as well as everyone involved as they use some very expensive equipment in order to unearth some of the smallest (but historically significant) pieces of treasure out there.

But Marty himself is quite an interesting character. He's a Michigan native who has been interested in hunting treasure for much longer than what viewers have seen on the show. He's also a loyal husband and proud family man. But unless you're a superfan of "The Curse of Oak Island," you probably haven't delved too deeply into who he is or what he did before all that. Here's a look at the untold truth of Marty Lagina.

His net worth is in the nine-figures territory

Marty Lagina is reportedly worth around $100 million. But that money didn't fly into his bank account overnight. He worked pretty hard for it over the course of his life by focusing on his education and being very hands-on with his business ventures over the years (more on that later). He's worked in some of the most lucrative industries in the private sector, and even used a good chunk of his personal wealth to invest in the business ventures that he truly believes in (more on that later, too).

Marty doesn't just hoard all that wealth for himself, though. He also uses his money — and the treasures he finds — to help out the less fortunate. In past years, he's used the treasures he's found on Oak Island to support charity auctions that go to benefit causes that he believes in. Back in September of 2020, he sold off some Oak Island baubles to help the South Shore Health Services Foundation. In January 2022, the brothers did the same to support the Menominee Range Historical Museums.

He's a highly educated man

Marty Lagina has been pursuing higher education ever since the mid-'70s, and it's really paid off for him. In 1977, he graduated with honors from Michigan Technological University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Strangely, he immediately switched hats and pursued a Juris Doctorate in law from the University of Michigan — and ever since 1982, which was when he earned that degree, he's been legally able to add the fancy "Esquire" suffix to the end of his name.

It's hard to say why Marty decided to put his-higher education eggs in two totally different baskets. But in a lot of ways, it has served him well. His experience working many different engineering jobs — as well as his knowledge of the law — set him up for future business ventures that helped him acquire the majority of his net worth.

He's spent a lot of time working in the energy industry

Marty Lagina started his own natural gas company, Terra Energy, back in the 1990s — just in time to take advantage of the big economic boom happening with energy extraction in the Northern Michigan Antrim shale formation (via MyNorth.com). He later sold the company for a cool $58 million in 2009, which is where the majority of his wealth has come from. He's still involved in the energy business to this day.

But he's not invested in fossil fuels anymore. These days, he's switched out that black hat for a white hat in renewable wind energy. Part of his reasoning for switching things up is not just because fossil fuel is unsustainable from an environmental perspective, but from an economic one, too. In that same interview with MyNorth.com, he explains that "as wells decline and each barrel is harder and harder to get they are going to get wildly expensive," and that wind energy is "exciting" for him.

Some of the funding that keeps The Curse of Oak Island going is coming out of his own pocket

Marty Lagina is a big bankroller for all the digging and excavating that happens on "The Curse of Oak Island." Given his net worth, that's probably not a huge surprise. If you had hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in your favorite passion project, wouldn't you do the same thing?

Marty and his treasure-hunting partner Craig Tester are heavily invested in the venture, but they aren't the only ones. Obviously, the History Channel itself pitches in, alongside government grants, the Nova Scotia Business Inc., and the Oak Island Tours company. Treasure hunting is a very fun and popular business, so it's understandable that lots of different cooks want to be in that kitchen. However, it seems pretty clear that both Marty's own fortune and business savvy help grease the wheels and keep the operation running smoothly.

He has a taste for the finer things in life

Marty Lagina is also the founder of Mari Vineyards, located in Traverse City, Michigan. It's located on the Old Mission Peninsula (which is just above the ring finger on the glove of Michigan's lower peninsula) and is 60 acres of grape-growing goodness. They grow 22 different types of grapes, including nine different white varieties and several flavorful reds, like Malbec and Pinot Noir, among others.

In this short feature that Marty did for the History channel, he explains that the vineyard is a tribute to both his Italian heritage and his grandmother, whom the winery is named after. This particular vineyard is also strongly and admirably focused on utilizing sustainable agriculture practices. They are dedicated to improving soil quality in order to reduce soil erosion (which is a very big problem right now), making their land a sanctuary for pollinators like bees and butterflies, and using renewable energy to reduce their environmental impact. If you're a fan of wine and sustainable agriculture, you can even patronize their business by ordering online.