Gold mining is a tough business, and many have lost a fortune hoping to strike it lucky. As an experienced miner, Rick Ness didn’t realize how challenging it would be at the start. Rick left behind his music career to mine gold in the Yukon. Rick joined Gold Rush in season 3 and has become a key part of the show. Rick Ness has an estimated net worth of $3 million in 2023.
Richard “Rick” Ness was born on March 5, 1981, along with his twin brother Randy. Although they’re twins the two don’t look identical. Ness is from Michigan and grew up working for his father’s construction company. Little did he know, the experience working with large machinery would prove useful as a future gold miner!
Rick graduated from Escanaba Area High School in 1999. Growing up he was an avid sports fan and had aspirations of going pro during his college football career. However, a head injury during a game ended his hopes.
In 2003, he moved to Milwaukee with his mother and started playing bass in a music band called the .357 String Band. The band enjoyed some success and released three albums, they even did a world tour.
Joining Gold Rush
Rick got into mining through pure luck, he met Parker Schnabel at the Southeast Alaska State Fair and they both hit it off. 9 months later, Parker called up Rick and convinced him to join his crew. Ness agreed to give it a go and first appeared in season three of Gold Rush.
Early on, fans spotted that he had a strange hatred of sleeves. These types of quirks and fun-loving attitude made him a fan-favorite. He started off as an operator on the rock truck and excavator.
Parker loved Rick’s hard work ethic and pretty much became his right-hand man. As a result, he was promoted to foreman and was put in charge of a second operation at the Indian River.
Leaving Parker’s Crew
Rick Ness’ role as Schnabel’s foreman was to keep him updated on their progress and daily operations. Things didn’t always go to plan as witnessed at the Panama Canal site.
Rick hired four workers without asking Parker, and it cost him $50,000 in wages. As expected, his boss wasn’t too pleased and suggested that Rick should try running his own gold mine. After the incident, Ness set up his own mining crew in season nine of Gold Rush.
Fortunately, the move was a success, and Rick broke the show’s record for the most gold mined by a mine boss in his first year. Some of Parker’s crew such as Brennan joined Rick’s crew. Thankfully, he and Parker have remained good friends.
Net Worth and Earnings
His main source of wealth comes from his salary as a key member of the Gold Rush cast. It is reported that Rick Ness gets $25,000 per episode on the show. This figure is only expected to grow as the show continues to grow.
Of course, there are his earnings as a gold mine operator. Aside from his reality television and mining success, Rick previously made a living as a musician and vocalist. All of his ventures result in a $3 million fortune.
Rick Ness has been dating Leese Marie since 2020. In October 2022, the happy couple announced they are engaged! He proposed to his partner on her birthday. Leese Marie has already starred in season 12 but the couple didn’t feature in season 13. Ness is expected to return if he can sort out his personal issues.