‘Gold Rush’ Star Parker Schnabel Nailed The Viral 10-Year Challenge, A Decade Older And $10 Million Richer

Dimitrios KambourisGetty Images for Discovery

Gold Rush star Parker Schnabel may have won the 10-year challenge, posting side-by-side photos of himself before fame and mega fortune came his way.

The star of the Discovery Channel docu-series has taken to social media frequently to share bits of his life with fans, giving a glimpse of his life beyond the rough and tumble gold mines of Alaska. This week the 24-year-old took part in the viral #10YearChallenge, which encourages people to share a photo of themselves from 10 years ago (or their first-ever social media profile photo, whatever is available) and compare it to a current shot of themselves.

For Parker, there was a lot of growth between the awkward teenage years and the grizzled mining veteran he is today (as fans remember, Parker was just 16 years old when he took over the multi-million dollar mining operation from his now-departed grandfather). He has since turned it into a huge fortune for himself — the travel site TravelFuntu estimates his net worth at $8 million, while others have it as high as $10 million — and big fame through the reality series Gold Rush.

The picture Parker Schnabel shared was a big hit with fans, furthering his image as one of the favorite reality stars. Schnabel has found this fame despite a profile that goes very against-type for the traditional reality star, with an unglamorous job and more of a reserved demeanor, though he has opened up considerably in recent years.

But Discovery has helped turn Schnabel into a star, and even tapped him for a spin-off series where Parker was sent to Guyana with fellow fan-favorite Rick Ness for a bit of gold hunting mixed with wilderness survivalism.

Parker said it was an unforgettable experience.

“It was by far the most challenging two months of my life,” Parker told PopCulture. “It’s so far out of any realm of comfort for an Alaskan boy, that it was pretty weird.”

Parker added that the trip was very different from the frigid cold and rocky terrain of Alaska, where he makes his home.

“One time, we were on a boat, and there was a pretty fast current and like a six-foot snake just swimming up the current,” he said. “Spiders the size of dinner plates and all that jazz.”

Fans who want to see more of the current Parker Schnabel can catch him and his Alaskan gold mine on Gold Rush, which airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on Discovery.