‘Hoffman Family Gold’ star was almost shot during wild car chase with armed men in the jungle

'Gold Rush' star Todd Hoffman stars alongside father Jack, son Hunter in 3rd season of 'Hoffman Family Gold'

Reality TV star and veteran gold prospector Todd Hoffman has encountered many dangers in his hunt for riches.

Hoffman, 55, who rose to fame starring in the No. 1-rated Discovery show “Gold Rush,” is back for the third season of the spin-off series “Hoffman Family Gold.” During an interview with Fox News Digital, Hoffman reflected on the most perilous situation that he had faced during his long gold-mining career.

“I got chased around Georgetown, Guyana, when I was in the jungle by a whole car full of guys with guns,” Hoffman said. “I just come from the bank and I had two backpacks full of cash.”

toff hoffman on gold mining site

“Hoffman Family Gold” star Todd Hoffman shared the most dangerous encounter that he has had while mining for gold. (Discovery Channel/Pilgrim Media Group)

At the time, Hoffman said he was carrying $12,000 in cash with $6,000 in each backpack. While he noted it was “only 12,000 [in] U.S. [dollars],” the cash totaled over $2.5 million in Guyanese money and the armed men pursuing Hoffman aimed to steal it.


“Once I got in the car, they’re right on us,” the miner recalled. “They were holding their guns out the window. They hadn’t started shooting at us yet, but I said, ‘Open the windows. We’re going to throw the cash out the window.'”

“But we got in this car chase like you’d see in the movies, man,” Hoffman continued. “And I said, ‘Once we get stuck, I’m throwing the cash out and everybody just lay down. We’re going to throw the cash out.'”

“We just kept right in front of them. And my driver got us away. And I don’t know how he did it, but he was literally screaming at the top of his lungs and so it added to the drama, like my driver screaming. I’m just freaked,” he added with a laugh.

“And his name was Vicky. Vicky screaming, we’re in a Toyota Tercel. I mean, we’re getting chased. That was probably the closest I came to probably getting shot and dying.”

WATCH: ‘Gold Rush’ alum Todd Hoffman on the biggest challenges of mining for gold

‘Gold Rush’ alum on biggest challenges of mining goldVideo

However, Hoffman said that he and his team were able to escape due to some impressive driving on the part of Vicky.

“Vicky got us away,” he recalled. “Vicky somehow busted a right, busted a left, busted a right and then somehow they got stuck and we got away. And then we went into this guy’s garage. We put the car in there because they were roaming around.”

Hoffman remembered that he actually spotted their pursuers while they were hiding in the garage.

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“Like in the movies, you look out, and they drive by, and you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh. These guys are trying to get this money. I mean, they’re trying to – they’ll kill us. They don’t care,'” he said.

“In the jungle, man. It’s a dog-eat-dog,” Hoffman added.

However, the terrifying incident didn’t stop Hoffman and his crew from continuing to mine for gold in Guyana.

“We would almost die there probably once a week. Somebody would almost die,” he said. “That was years ago when we were mining in the jungle.”

hunter hoffman, todd hoffman and jack hoffman at mining site

Hoffman, his father, Jack, and his son, Hunter, starred on “Gold Rush” before launching “Hoffman Family Gold.” (Discovery Channel/Pilgrim Media Group)

Hoffman revealed that their most dangerous escapades were left out of “Gold Rush,” which he starred in for eight seasons from 2010 to 2018.

“The things I did in the jungle were just – they didn’t put them on camera because it was too freaky,” he said. “It was like sad, like dangerous sad.”

Hoffman explained that running his family-run gold mining business involves handling complex paperwork and navigating government regulations, but the most challenging aspect is the “actual mining.”

“I think the biggest challenge is just putting it all together and then trying to get down into that gold,” he said. “You’re on properties that have been mined for 110 years, 120 years. And so you’re trying to find the gold that the other guys didn’t get, the old-timers didn’t get. So, usually it’s harder.”

“You have to strip through a lot of ice, or you have to move a lot of dirt because the gold sinks, and it gets down there on that bedrock,” he continued.

WATCH: ‘Hoffman Family Gold’ star Todd Hoffman was almost shot during wild car chase with armed men in the jungle

Reality TV star almost shot during car chase with armed men in jungleVideo

Hoffman said that he and his team had stumbled upon many unusual sights during their digs.

“A lot of people don’t believe in the great flood,” he noted. “But like every time we dig down in there, all you see is evidence of the great flood. This year … I found a caribou antler deeper than I’ve ever found one. It was really deep. It was so deep that I would like to get it tested because it’s an old, old caribou. It was way down in there, like 18 feet deep under the ground. Like there’s only one way it got put there and that was a great flood, just pushed in there.”

“You just see a lot of weird stuff, man,” he added. “You see a lot of weird stuff when you’re digging.”


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Hoffman went on to recall some of the weirdest objects that he and his team had uncovered while mining for gold.

“We dig up some Levi’s zippers and stuff like that. We dig up some of those old sort of little artifacts, little pieces of this and little pieces of that,” he said.

“My friend one time dug up a bunch, like a bunch of frozen — like a little family of ground squirrels, and they were all just kind of huddled in together, and they’re all frozen, and they had all their hair on them, and it’s really interesting.”

todd, hudson, hunter and jack hoffman

Hunter, Jack, Hoffman and Hoffman’s other son, Hudson, are pictured at the mine during the third season. (Discovery Channel/Pilgrim Media Group)

Hoffman said his team also found trees and animal bones under the ice that indicated the climate had been warmer in the past.

“One time I was in Canada, I dug up a pine – like a tree that grows in more tropical climates,” he said. “You have the big debate about global warming and this, that and the other. But I dug up a tree that only grows … and the whole pit started to smell like pine. But it is a tree that only grows in a lot warmer climate. And I dug one of those up about 15 feet under the ice, under the frozen dirt.”


“And so, a lot of us believed it, that it was warm up top there,” Hoffman said. “Because you had little Yukon horses that are like … their leg bones are only this long. The little Yukon horses, really the size of a Shetland pony, and so they roamed up there, and they had these big fields of grass.”

“And there’s a lot of weird animals that aren’t there anymore. I think there was some llama-looking animals, but it was obviously warmer up there at one point.”

hunter hoffman clearing gravel at site

Hudson is pictured hauling gravel for the Lost Cut road during episode 1 of the third season. (Discovery Channel/Pilgrim Media Group)

After Hoffman departed “Gold Rush” in 2018, he launched his spin-off series for Discovery, “Hoffman Family Gold,” which premiered in 2022. “Hoffman Family Gold” follows Hoffman, along with his father, Jack, and son Hunter, who both also starred on “Gold Rush,” as they take on a gold-rich mine 80 miles north of Nome, Alaska.

An official synopsis for the show’s first season reads, “As three generations of Todd Hoffman’s family arrive in Alaska to mine the most promising claim they’ve ever held, tensions rise when Todd’s father, Jack, announces his final season. With winter fast approaching, the Hoffman crew must devise a plan to triple their output and mine 3,000 ounces before the ground freezes over, putting their legacy and livelihood on the line.”

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The third installment will also mark the last for the Hoffman patriarch as Jack, who became a fan favorite on “Gold Rush” and “Hoffman Family Gold,” has announced that he will be departing after the season wraps. Jack first began mining for gold in the 1980s but never struck it big. He made his return to mining in 2010 when he joined Hoffman on “Gold Rush.”

WATCH: ‘Hoffman Family Gold’ star Todd Hoffman shares what fans can expect in the hit show’s third season

"Hoffman Family Gold" star previews show's 3rd seasonVideo

In the upcoming third episode of season 3 titled “Jack’s Gold Dream,” Hoffman surprises Jack by secretly shipping his father’s 1980s-era washplant to Alaska to fulfill the family patriarch’s original gold-mining dream.

In a clip from the episode, exclusively obtained by Fox News Digital, Hoffman, Jack, Hunter and the crew are seen plugging up leaks and making repairs as they try to get the washplant up and running.

“All my guys pitched in, no one was grumbling about it. It means a lot to me. It means … really a bunch to my dad,” Hoffman said in the clip. “These are the moments that mean a lot.”

holy roller splitter box on hoffman family gold

Three generations of the Hoffman family have teamed up to mine for gold in Alaska. (Discovery Channel/Pilgrim Media Group)

During his interview with Fox News Digital, Hoffman teased what fans can expect from future episodes.

“I think you’re going to see some really cool stuff. I mean, this season has some really hard stuff, like with the government,” Hoffman said. “Last week we had this – I don’t want to spoil it for people that are trying to catch up, but we had this monster cleanup, which was a lot of money.”

He continued, “But there’s highs and lows. It’s just a very high and a very low and a very high, a very low. But in between, there’s some cool things with my dad. There’s some cool things that are coming up, especially Friday. There’s something really neat that happens with my dad.”

“He’s the most loved character on the show. I got to make all the poop run downhill, right?” he said with a laugh. “I take a lot of the lows. And we let Jack, he’s the guy who gets all the highs and I don’t care. I got to walk around a little bit. You know people think I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time a little bit, but that’s TV.”


New episodes of “Hoffman Family Gold” air Fridays at 9 p.m. on Discovery.

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