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

History's long-running reality show "The Curse of Oak Island" is a lengthy dig into the mysteries and supposed treasures of the titular island. It's also a fascinating look at the latest people to join the long, hitherto unsuccessful list of treasure hunters who have operated on Oak Island. 

Regardless of your opinion about the existence of the huge secrets Oak Island is supposed to hide, it's hard to deny that the people trying to uncover the hidden treasures are pretty fascinating. It takes a very special person to spend years and years of their life buried in research — and, all too often, mud — in their search for the next clue of a mysterious hoard that may or may not lie at the bottom of the legendary Money Pit. 

One of these tenacious souls is Rick Lagina, one of the main players in "The Curse of Oak Island." Who is this man, and how did he end up hunting the titular island's rumored treasure? Let's delve deeper into the untold truth of Rick Lagina from History's "The Curse of Oak Island."

He's not always happy with the things the show focuses on

If the lengthy run of "The Curse of Oak Island" isn't enough of a clue about its snail-like pace, anyone who has watched the show can attest that treasure-hunting is incredibly slow — and in an interview with Reality Blurred, Rick and Marty Lagina noted that the presence of the production crew makes things even slower. Rick also noted that there are some things about the show he's not always entirely happy with. In particular, he's not especially fond of the times the show's needs force them to focus on some relatively trivial things that siderail their mission in favor of making good TV. 

"Some of the things we've done — the marginal things — we've expanded on those or been more aggressive on them because the show needs content," he noted.

On the whole, Lagina almost seems to consider the show a mixed blessing that arrived on the doorstep uninvited, even though he was quick to note that there are considerable upsides to the publicity. 

"The truth is, on a personal level, we didn't seek this show out," he said. "We had already been engaged in the search process for three years or more before the show approached us. It kind of intrudes on your personal life. But the upside, again, is that we welcome the fact that people come to the island. We've opened up the island for tourists. It's gratifying to know that people have bought into this mystery almost as we have."

The wealth of Rick Lagina

"The Curse of Oak Island" features a whole bunch of expensive equipment, as History UK notes. How, exactly, does Rick Lagina afford all of that stuff? After all, his backstory is that he's a retired postal worker who became fascinated with Oak Island after reading about it at the tender age of 11. There's a bit of a gap between "used to be a postal worker" and "co-runs a major excavation operation that controls much of Oak Island," and the fact that Lagina prefers to keep his personal life personal doesn't exactly help understanding the situation. 

Of course, much of this is explained by the fact that his brother and "The Curse of Oak Island" co-star Rick Lagina is a multi-millionaire businessman, and is thought to be the majority financer of the operation, while Marty is the one whose lifelong fascination with the island's secrets inspired them to start their Oak Island excursion in the first place.

Don't think that the brothers fall into the easy tropes of a broke dreamer and a wealthy financier, though. Much like Marty can be very hands-on with the Oak Island project, Rick's far from poor. In fact, many estimations indicate that the older Lagina's reality show stardom has brought a pretty hefty windfall, and his current net worth is thought to range somewhere between $2 million (History UK's estimation) and as much as $10 million (via Celebrity Net Worth). So, in a roundabout way, he's already found treasure on Oak Island. 

He doesn't like to watch the show himself

"The Curse of Oak Island" has been running for nine seasons and spawned a spin-off called "Beyond Oak Island," which implies there are plenty of people who genuinely enjoy watching the show's mysteries slowly unfold. However, you might be amazed to find out that Rick Lagina isn't one of them. Somewhat surprisingly for a man who has dedicated so much of his life to the mystery of Oak Island, Lagina doesn't really watch the popular TV show about said mystery that he personally stars in. 

"I tend not to watch any of ['The Curse of Oak Island']," Lagina told My North in 2015. "Yes, I am serious. We're just a couple of Yooper boys, ya know, it's hard to watch yourself on TV in my opinion. I am not a big fan of that. But I am a big fan of Oak Island, I believe in it. I believe there's a wonderful story yet to be written and possibly a long-lost treasure to be found. I am gratified that people enjoy the show." 

Of course, while Lagina might not go out of his way to watch the show, he may still have caught the occasional episode every now and then. After all, he told Reality Blurred in 2017 that he's not always particularly fond of the show's editing. 

He genuinely thinks Oak Island might be haunted

"The Curse of Oak Island" is a title that can refer to a great many things. There's the curse of frustration that has no doubt plagued the various treasure hunters who have tried to uncover the island's secrets in vain. There's the rumored actual curse that, supposedly, requires the deaths of seven people before the Oak Island treasure will reveal itself (per Deadline). Also, Rick Lagina has told in uncertain terms that there might actually be something supernatural on the island, which makes the title all the more ominous.

In a 2015 interview with My North, Lagina revealed that equipment has a tendency to mysteriously malfunction in certain parts of the island, and that some members of "The Curse of Oak Island" crew have seen and heard inexplicable, ghostly figures. The show has discussed the possibility of paranormal activity on the island on occasion, but according to Lagina, some of the more hands-on creepiness doesn't make it in the show. 

"Paranormal groups have worked there and some of their findings are unexplainable," he said. "The island has an aura — something I can't really articulate. Strange, inexplicable things happen, especially as far as equipment malfunctions and especially on the eastern corner of the swamp — by the Money Pit and 10X. We have heard 'That's never happened before,' from operators of equipment more than we care to hear."

He's prepared to walk away from Oak Island when the day comes

The Laginas have been focused on the mysteries of Oak Island for so long that by now, you'd be forgiven for thinking that they're more or less part of the landscape. However, as Rick Lagina told My North in the show's early years, they've made a point of maintaining as healthy a life-work balance ratio as the arduous shooting days allow, taking the weekends off when they can and staying in nearby Halifax instead of the island itself — although in the beginning, Rick himself was known to stay with the Blankenships on the island.

Lagina also acknowledges that the Oak Island quest he's been dreaming of since the age of 11 might end in a disappointment, and as such, he's fully prepared to join the long line of failed Oak Island explorers if things come to that. 

"Very passionate, intelligent, committed individuals have come before us, including a President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, and every one of those were able to move the dial forward," he told Reality Blurred. "Surely at the point at which we feel we're not moving the dial forward, then out of respect to those people, it would be time to pass the torch." 

However, even if he ends up leaving the project himself, he hopes that his team won't be the last link in the long chain of Oak Island explorers. "I think there's something of historical significance happened there, and it would be a shame for that story not to be ferreted out and told," he said.