• Rick Ness is an American reality TV star and musician, born in 1981 in Michigan, USA.
• He attended Escanaba Area High School and was a promising football player until he was injured.
• After his band split up in 2011, Rick joined Parker Schnabel's crew in “Gold Rush”, and left his boss in Season 8 to go mining on his own.
• He is active on Instagram and Twitter and is estimated to have a net worth of over $3 million.
• Rick's mother died in 2018 and since then, he has been taking care of her dog, Rubi.


Rick Ness is an American reality TV star and a musician, born on 5 March 1981, in Michigan USA. He’s known for being one of the main stars in Discovery Channel’s series “Gold Rush”.

Early Life

Born the son of Rick and Judy Ness, Rick took a deep interest in music and football in his childhood. Along with his twin brother Randy, Rick started operating heavy machinery in his family’s construction company from a young age. He attended Escanaba Area High School, matriculating in 1999. It’s known that he was a promising football player in school, though his career was cut short when he was seriously injured.

Heading to Denver to talk to a guy… Any guesses??

Posted by Rick Ness on Wednesday, February 8, 2017



Along with his mother, Rick moved to Milwaukee in 2003 and pursued a musical career, joining “.357” as an upright bassist. In an interview with Monsters and Critics, he revealed how he came to join the band: ‘I must have been 22 or 23 years old. I went to a concert to see a different band. But this other band was opening up. Their bass was terrible…I mean absolutely awful. So I approached them after the show, and asked them to give me a shot. And that’s how I ended up in the band.’

The band released three albums: “Ghost Town” in 2006, “Fire & Hail” in 2008 and “Lightning From The North” in 2010. However, the band split up in 2011, and the members took different career paths.

Mining – Gold Rush

During his time touring with “.357”, Rick met Parker Schnabel – who appeared in “Gold Rush” leading his own mining crew – in Haines, Alaska. Rick became acquainted with Parker, to whom he expressed his interest in working as a miner. Despite his inexperience in mining, Rick was well acquainted with heavy machinery due to his work in his family’s company, experience that was useful for him when Parker contacted him again months later to operate rock trucks, excavators and other machinery in his crew.

Rick commented to Channel Guide Mag on his shock at receiving Parker’s call: ‘I never really thought I’d hear from him again. But then right out of the blue he called me up and offered me a job for Season 3.

He basically said, ‘I’ll give you the job but you’ve got 12 days to get here.’ And so, I was just like, ‘OK, I’m on it.’ And I kind of just tied up some loose ends, threw all my stuff in my truck, and just went up there.’ By the time Rick joined “Gold Rush”, his band had already split.

Showing ability to work under pressure and willing to handle crew members when needed, Rick rapidly became Parker’s right-hand-man, working under his guidance for six years until the eighth season, in which he left Schnabel to go mining on his own.

Independent Mining

Rick’s decision to leave his boss’ mining team was shown in episode “Mining With Monsters”, and although Parker was surprised by his decision, he encouraged Rick to go on his own: ‘I completely get it.

If I were in your shoes, I’d be looking at doing the same exact thing, so it’s hard for me to sit here and be mad.’

Rick’s reason to go on his own was caused by his desire to learn more about mining: ‘I feel like I’ve learned a lot in the last six or seven years that I’ve been doing this, but I don’t know anything about the business side’. Though he was sure of his decision, he also confessed his fears: ‘There’s so much cost there and there’s so much risk there. I do well where I’m at, and you know, it would be a scary thing, quite honestly. It really would. Is it in the cards? I don’t know. Who knows?’.

Leading his own mining crew, Rick continued appearing in “Gold Rush” in its ninth season.

Rick Ness

Although Rick took a big risk when he collected his life savings to finance his team, he felt it was worth it: ‘In my mind, I also thought that that was a bad idea, honestly, because I did have everything that I own on the line, and so I thought about just trying to put together a crew of people that had lots of experience, but ultimately, I’ve had a lot of success up there with mining, and I did have the confidence that I could hopefully make this work this year.’

Although leading his own team was a new experience for him, he felt confident in his crew members as they were his own friends from Wisconsin: ‘The guys that I picked, I knew would be up for it.’ He continued: ‘I just didn’t feel like sharing that with strangers. I wanted to try and give that to my friends, as well. That’s ultimately how I made my decision.’

Rick Ness and his crew mined 1,105 ounces of gold in the ninth season, worth $1.3 million.

Personal Life

Rick Ness has kept his romantic life a secret from the media, and so his relationship status is unknown. However, in 2020 he was romantically linked to Karla Ann, who is part of his crew in “Gold Rush”. Rick denied said rumors to be true, describing his relationship with Ann as platonic. So he’s still single, and doesn’t have children.

Mother’s Death

Rick’s mother Judy died on 20 March 2018, after a long battle against cancer. Rick announced her death on his Twitter account: ‘RIP Mom. 55 years young. She left us peacefully in her house and with my face resting against hers she took her last breath. It hurts. It’s not long enough. Cancer is the devil.’

After his mother’s death, Rick took care of her dog named Rubi.


Besides music and mining, Rick is also interested in bikes and tattoos, getting different parts of his body inked as can be seen on his Instagram account.

Net Worth

Rick Ness’ estimated net worth is over $3 million, which is a result of his work as a gold miner and from his musical career.

Physical Appearance

Rick Ness is a man of white ethnicity, with blonde hair and green eyes. His weight and stature are unknown, but he has a noticeably strong build.

Interesting Facts

Rick Ness reportedly has lost over $1 Million in his independent mining explorations. However, this estimation is unofficial and what it actually means hasn’t been confirmed by Ness or “Gold Rush” staff.

Rick’s exit from Parker’s crew caused problems for the team: ‘It was tough and it created quite the power vacuum’ said Schnabel.  However, he managed to keep his work dynamic as best as he could: ‘the crew was bigger than just Rick, it’s bigger than just me. It’s a solid crew that operates as a unit and we can handle some blows, you know? Rick leaving was a big one, but we can take that on, just another challenge for us to deal with, but that’s business right?’

Rick’s mother died shortly before the start of “Gold Rush” ninth season. Because of this, Rick didn’t have much time to mourn his loss, as he had to put his own team together in a few weeks.

After Rick Ness’ exit from Parker Schnabel’s crew, the two miners continued to be friends: ‘I really respect and appreciate him for letting me know this now,” Were Parker’s words on the show after Rick’s announcement. ‘But what really makes me OK with this is that, you know, is that we can walk away as friends, and hopefully, we will be friends for the rest of our lives.”

Rick Ness is active on Instagram and Twitter.

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