The TV show Gold Rush is wildly popular. Does anyone know if the miners make money from the advertisers, have endorsements with the equipment manufacturers, are they compensated by the Discovery producers or do they only make money when the find gold?

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    They are paid actors by AFTRA rules.
    – Ben Plont
    Jan 8, 2015 at 5:31
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    I'm seeing stories of them getting paid anywhere from $5k to $50k per episode from Discovery for the primary actors, but nothing official or authoritative. Jan 8, 2015 at 17:21
  • Is it really wildly popular? :)
    – DA.
    Feb 14, 2015 at 5:39

1 Answer 1


They are actors who are also miners. One of the miners, Fred Hurt, released a nice incendiary FB post after a dispute over money in Season 4:

Why we are not on “Gold Rush” this fall……..this may be news to many……

I am not rich…..I am a working class guy like most of you. After spending more for four years straight than I made, there was no way for me to continue.

But the main reason is simple……and I quote….”If you want a Miner, call me…….if you want an Actor, pay me like one.”

Dustin and I were “hard to work with”. Interpretation ?……we did not go along with every cocamainy idea the film people dreamed up……

Corporate beancounters also wanted to consolidate their operation after a disastrous South American season. They also layed out mega millions to buy the company filming Gold Rush.

Sssssooo……as we were the ‘Red Headed Stepchild’, we were on our own…….

  • I wonder how "accurate" this really is though. Fred always seemed to me to be a bit of an ass who never got along with anyone. He basically came in and took over the Hoffman's mine ... I believe they used to call it claim jumping in the olden days. Fred and company have started filming a different show in opposition to the Discovery show. They got paid on this show. Just not what he thought he should have been getting paid, and he wasn't even one of the main players on the show. I think he's just a crotchety old man with an ax to grind. Jan 8, 2015 at 23:59
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    @Paulster2 be careful judging people based on their reality TV work, though. Remember that while they call it 'reality' TV, it's not reality. It's a highly edited version of reality for the purpose of ratings. If I filmed 200 hours of you and then snipped out the 10 minutes you said something crotchety, people may have a slanted view of you you really are.
    – DA.
    Jun 22, 2015 at 17:17
  • @DA.- While I understand your point ... he's still an ass '-) I can be an ass at times, too, lol. Jun 22, 2015 at 20:35

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