What can you tell me about Todd Hoffman from “Gold Rush”?
—Fred Sherman, Lincoln, Nebraska
Four years ago, Todd Hoffman, 44, who hails from Sandy, Oregon, was inspired by the rising prices of gold—and the steady decline of his aviation business—to try his hand at mining gold. So he and dad Jack Hoffman, 67, headed north to Alaska.
Jack had had some previous experience as a miner, back in the ‘80s, so the two men staked a claim, amassed a team of guys—mostly unemployed men from their hometown—and the necessary equipment in an attempt to strike it rich.
“We didn’t do this to become famous,” says Todd. “We mine for our faith and our family and then we also mine because we are offering hope to our people. Guys out there really had a hard time during that recession and that affects marriages, families, outlook. So it is cool for us that a lot of guys are watching the show, rooting for us.”
Todd is proud of the fact that he has always been his own boss, so his mining exploits let him continue his way of living the American Dream, even though at the end of the first season, he was completely broke.
But since the show was a hit, the Hoffmans were given a second chance to mine for gold—and they struck it rich! In the summer of 2012, they dug $1.3 million out of the tundra. It sounds like a lot, but the government takes its cut, as do the investors who put up the capitol for the mining excursion, and their men have to be paid.
“You’ve got to be all in,” Todd says of mining. “You have to believe in gold. If you don’t believe gold is better than cash, then you’re not going to go after it as hard as you need to.”