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Wanna Get Filthy Rich? Listen to the Guys From 'Gold Rush.' Where machines and moose and millions collide-we traveled all the way to the Yukon to learn how to make money from a hole in the ground.

By Dan Bova

This story appears in the November 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Justin Kelly | Courtesy of Discovery Communications

"They are just waiting for something to go wrong," 22-year-old miner Parker Schnabel tells me with an expression that is half smile, half sneer, and all exhaustion. We're standing on the grounds of Scribner Creek, which isn't a creek so much as a postapocalyptic-looking wasteland of turned-over earth. And "they" are the film crew of Discovery's Gold Rush, who have followed Schnabel's every shovelful of dirt since he became a mine boss at the ripe old age of 16.

"Last night I was digging a ditch," he continues. "And I knew that the only way this was going to make the show was if I did something wrong or if I got hurt or something broke. And you can tell the film crew wants one of those things to happen! But that's the nature of the show, they — "

As if on cue, a Gold Rush producer appears. "Sorry," he says, "I have to interrupt you. Something has gone wrong." So off we go to see what that "something" is, which is a big something: A boulder has smashed the holy crap out of a vital piece of Schnabel's machinery. The producers are surely happy. Schnabel is not: He's just an entrepreneur trying to make a living out here, surrounded by problems.

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