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‘Gold Rush': Former High School Wrestling Coach Fred Lewis Finally Finds Gold (Exclusive Video)

Most of Lewis’ mining team of veterans were laid off from their regular jobs due to COVID-19

On Friday’s “Gold Rush,” former high-school wrestling coach Fred Lewis finally pins down his first gold nugget — and his elated team’s reaction is rich.

Treasure the achievement via the video above. Hopefully for Fred, it is the first of many such moments.

Lewis, a veteran (he was a medic in the special forces), just began in the gold-mining game after losing his regular job due to the coronavirus pandemic. The same is true about most of his crew members working the Oregon fields, so this successful Col. Nugget clean-up is extra special.

With fellow veteran and experienced miner Kendell Madden by his side, Lewis leased a piece of ground with huge prospects. The down payment came down to Fred’s last $20,000, as the “Gold Rush” narrator states in our preview clip. When the greenhorn’s test run in our first look shows good gold, Lewis and Madden assemble a band of down-on-their-luck ex-servicemen and women eager to turn around their fortunes, according to the Discovery Channel’s description for the season.

Still, Lewis, Madden and the ragtag gang have a heck of a job ahead of themselves if they want to compete with the big boys: “Gold Rush” veterans Parker Schnabel, Tony Beets and Rick Ness.

Oh, and there is one other thing. In addition to all of the many challenges, costs and even potential dangers that come with regular gold-mining, this season, the gold fields opened two months late due to COVID-19.

“Gold Rush” is produced for Discovery Channel by Raw Television, where Dimitri Doganis, James Bates, Mike Gamson, and Tom Sheahan are executive producers. For Discovery Channel, Carter Figueroa is executive producer and Greg Wolf is coordinating producer.

Kudos to all of them: “Gold Rush” is Discovery Channel’s highest-rated series.

Episodes of “Gold Rush” air Fridays at 8/7c on the Discovery Channel.