While most are content to curl up with a hot drink and a blanket, browsing through stories of pirates and the ancient Knights Templar, stories are not enough for others: Rick Lagina is one such person. The mysterious legend of Oak Island has its roots reaching over 200 years ago to 1797. A Canadian settler, McGinnis, set out to search Oak Island, when a dying crew member of the nefarious Captain Kidd told him that there was a fortune hidden on the island. While some may believe that this was the final maleficent hoax of a brigand, worth no more than attic dust, others still firmly believe that the island is home to bountiful treasures.
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When Rick and his brother heard of this legend, they immediately sank their abundant funds into determining the authenticity of these claims, and (hopefully) unearthing the treasure of Oak Island.
Early Life and Family
Rick Lagina was born on 25 January 1954, in Kongsford, Michigan, USA to George Jacob Lagina and Ann Lagina-Cavalieri. He has a younger brother, Martin and a sister Matina Lagina. The family was exceptionally close, which gave rise to the possibility of the brothers creating a lucrative business. While most of us can recall being uncertain the direction our life would take when we grew up, Rick is able to pinpoint the exact moment that his life changed – he was reading the January 1965 edition of Reader’s Digest when he came across a compelling article about the mystery of Oak Island.
Enthralled by the mystique of the legend, he determined then that he would make it his life’s work to unearth that treasure.
Before Oak Island
Before his adventures on Oak Island began, Rick had very inauspicious beginnings. While his brother Marty had a steady career in engineering, owning a winery and a turbine company, Rick worked for the US Postal Delivery Service. This was a far cry from his dreams of grandeur and discovery, but for the time being, there were very few options open to him. That is, until 2006 when his brother agreed to help him make his dreams come true.
Oak Island Tours Inc.
In 2006, Marty and Rick Lagina purchased a 50% stake in Oak Island Tours inc. The Company owns a majority of Oak Island – a spectacular 78% – and takes in impressive revenue from the tourism industry. This was the launch that Rick needed to begin the life he had always wanted. Although Rick had always been the staunch believer, Marty was somewhat skeptical, but Rick was soon able to prove him wrong. Once they qualified for their treasure hunting permit, they began to find objects of genuine historical significance, if not outright value, propagating the legend – and the curse – of Oak Island.
Why Oak Island?
What is the allure of this Nova Scotia island? What has lured hundreds of people to her shores for more than two centuries? More importantly, what is the curse said to haunt this island?
While the legend began with McGinnis, it is believed to stretch way back in time to the Knights Templar, who set out on their pilgrimages as early as 1119. If we are to believe that the stories are true, then secreted on the island by the Knights Templar are two of the most elusive items in history: The Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail. This is not all that is said to be buried on the island, as a broad array of cultural and historical treasures is believed to be hidden there too.
The fabulous jewels of Maria Antionette, and the original manuscripts of William Shakespeare are just two more examples. The truth is, no one knows what is fact and what is fiction, and therein lies the allure.
The curse of Oak Island is a fascinating feature that surfaced approximately a century ago. While the origin of the curse is unknown, it is believed that seven men will die before the treasure can be found. While most dismiss this as superstition, the fact that six men have died in the pursuit of the island’s treasure only increases the mystique and promise that Oak Island holds.
“The Curse of Oak Island”
“The Curse of Oak Island” premiered on 5 January 2014, and has successfully endured ever since.
Produced by Prometheus Entertainment and aired on History Channel, the show documents the effort of teams combing Oak Island for the rumored treasure – predominantly funded by the Lagina brothers of course. While some find the show to be frustrating in progress, the teams have uncovered significant finds over the years. Some of these – such as a metal cross and two skeletons of Middle-Eastern origin – encouraged the conversion of theory and speculation into fact. However, the promised boatloads of treasure have yet to be unearthed, so the show is still rife with speculation and guesswork about the island’s history, and has kindled a new passion for treasure hunting in popular culture.
Information on Rick’s personal life is just as elusive as the treasure on Oak Island. Rick Lagina leads a private life, and hasn’t shared any information with the public about his relationships and hobbies. While it is broadly accepted that he is unmarried and childless, and so remains single, this is yet to be confirmed.
Rick Lagina has aged exceptionally well, and many are surprised when they find out that he is in his late 60s. Rick has dark thick and wavy hair that he pairs with a stark white beard. He has brown eyes and tends to wear spectacles with a narrow rim.
He is 5ft 10ins (1.79m) tall and weighs about 175lbs (79kgs). He has a slender figure and appears to have a serious personality.
Net Worth and Salary
Before he and his brother purchased shares in Oak Island Tours Inc., Rick was not making a high salary. In fact, it was only with his brother’s assistance that they were able to make the purchase at all. Consequent to the success of “The Curse of Oak Island” and the revenue of the tourism industry, Rick’s net worth has risen to $2 million as of mid-2020. While this is nowhere near his brother’s $40 million, it is still represents an impressive and inspiring journey through a different life.