Inside This Article:
Marty Lagina and older brother Rick Lagina spent years living the dream of uncovering the mystery of Oak Island. But believing there’s anything in there is something else. Being a man of science, Marty is somewhat skeptical. However, hidden treasures seem to be an exciting venture, eh? The net worth prettily backed up. Rick’s $11 million net worth is not too shabby either.
Born on August 26, 1955 (correct birthday, despite several popular information pieces), in Kingsford, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Martin Lagina has backgrounds in Engineering, graduating in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University. But his passion lies in the wine industry, with family ties to one of Italy’s premier winegrowing areas. Plus, Oak Island Tours, Terra Energy, Heritage Sustainable, Chartwell Properties; you’ll know what they mean.
Every little penny is important for the brothers, Marty (right) and Rick (left).
Photo from: Monsters and Critics
While being known for starring in History Channel‘s reality show, The Curse of Oak Island, since 2014, his net worth is actually squeezed out of his status as a successful entrepreneur and businessman. It’s also the source of the funding for the extravagant treasure hunt. The Lagina family is surely living the high life.
Majority of Marty Lagina’s 2020 Net Worth of $110 Million Comes from the Wine & Oil Business — Income Sources
As of January 2020, Marty Lagina controls a fortune of $110 million. As for the sources of such wealth, the salary from History Channel is just a portion of it. The Lagina family controlled several energy-focused companies in the past leading up to the current success. Now, Marty is the owner of their own winery named Mari Vineyards. The brothers also have a controlling interest in Oak Island Tours company since they fund it entirely privately.
It’s not the end of Marty Lagina’s net worth increment.
Photo Credit: History Channel
Apart from appearing on The Curse of Oak Island, the treasure hunter also was the executive producer of the show and starred in its spinoff, The Curse of Oak Island: Drilling Down since 2016. Aside from everything, his energy-based company, Heritage Sustainable, is targeting to be the largest wind-energy producer in the entire state of Michigan.
The Career Success Story to Back Up Lagina’s Net Worth
Graduating with one degree was not enough for Marty Lagina. After graduating from Michigan Technological University, he started studying for Juris Doctorate at the University of Michigan and graduated in honor in 1982 in the field of law. But while studying law, he started working in the energy industry right away.
The 64-year-old started off his career as a Petroleum Engineer at Amaco Production Company, a major oil firm in Michigan. Since 1979, he started to work as an independent Petroleum Engineer, doing consulting engineering work for various corporations in Michigan. Right after graduation, he established his first company, an oil and gas exploration and production company named Terra Energy Ltd., in 1982.
Marty’s more than just a treasure hunter.
Photo Source: Michigan Tech Alumni Profiles
Terra Energy became successful mainly by perfectly solving the tricky problem of extracting natural gas from Northern Michigan Antrim Shale in the 1990s. The main solution — designing and implementing many of the technical advances required to make gas be a commercially viable major resource in the State of Michigan.
Terra Energy was the largest operator of shale gas wells in Michigan, but he sold the company to CMS Energy in 1995 for $58 million (add that to his net worth). Why? Alternative energy source — Wind. In an interview with Traverse Magazine in the fall of 2009, Marty mentioned, “We have to get off of fossil fuels sometime soon — I am sure of it because I’ve spent my life in this business. Oil and gas won’t run out, they will never run out, but as wells decline and each barrel is harder and harder to get they are going to get wildly expensive. We have a huge energy problem in this country, but you know we can solve it.”
With the proceeds from the sale, he purchased shares of Chartwell Properties, L.L.C. to become the majority shareholder. But it took a while before Lagina entered the wind energy business. He started the new company Heritage Sustainable, a clean energy source provider, in 2004, believing “wind power is like the Antrim shale was in 1984”; the technological exploitation side of things.
Just as his ambition moved him, Heritage Sustainable went on to become one of the largest providers of renewable energy in the State of Michigan and one of the largest wind turbine companies in the Midwest. With the 60 wind turbines in Missaukee, Michigan planned to be built, he could provide 25% of Michigan’s power by the wind. “When the grid gets smarter, you could probably push it up to 50 percent,” he says.
The Vineyard and Reality Shows
The family ties are a great thing. With a connection of a past wine-making family in Italy, Marty Lagina launched his own winery, Mari Vineyards, in 1999. It was a slow start, but passion can do you great things. It began as a 3-acre winery called Row 7 which grew as a flagship bottle by 2006. Now, it expanded to become the 60-acre Villa Mari Vineyards in Michigan.
Watch: Marty and Rick Lagina Gives You the Tour of ‘Mari Vineyards’
The simple vision for Mari Vineyards: “world-class red wines, made locally in northern Michigan but with a nod to the Italian style of his ancestors.” It is still his main focus, despite the reality show fame. Marty’s son, Alex Lagina, now manages the winery
Speaking of which, Marty’s idea for entering the treasure hunt business was something that sparked when his brother, Rick Lagina, was 11. Rick became obsessed with uncovering the mystery when he read the January 1965 edition of Reader’s Digest and came upon an article about Oak Island. He read of the legend of the treasure supposedly buried there, including details about the famed Money Pit.
As for Marty, he was always skeptical about it, but still interested. In order to fulfill his brother’s lifetime goal, he put up his money for the majority stake in Oak Island Tours Inc. In 2006, he purchased a 50% stake of the company, while the island residents, Craig Tester, Dan Blankenship and Alan J. Kostrzewa, retained the other half. The exact amount was not announced.
“Brothers share childhood memories and grown-up dreams.”
Photo from: Curse of Oak Island, Instagram
The pair were granted their treasure-trove license back in July 2010, and so the digging began. Until The Curse of Oak Island began, Marty’s net worth was estimated to be from $40 million to $60 million. Surely, his companies have pushed the value since the History Channel fame.
The sophisticated equipment they bring to the show cost thousands, if not, millions of dollars, and it’s getting bigger and bigger every season. But it’s not all for waste. The summers they work have brought in some interesting finds. Besides, the brothers wouldn’t be sticking to the show if their investments for the show haven’t been replenished with the TV payout and the historically interesting finds.
In the past, Marty Lagina was the chairman of the Michigan Oil and Gas Assoc. He is also a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Society of Petroleum Engineers, the State Bar of Michigan, and a member of the Michigan Tech Board of Trustees and Presidents Club. (Source: Michigan Tech Alumni Profiles)
As for Marty Lagina’s romantic life (yes), everyone knows he is married to Margaret Olivia Lagina, but don’t expect much information from him. They’ve been married for a long time now and have two kids together. Aside from son Alex, they have a daughter Maddie Lagina.
Kids, but not that young.
The adventures still continue for the Lagina brothers as the seventh season of The Curse of Oak Island is wounding up to its end. Since it is known they start their treasure hunt in the summer, the current episodes are from the past summer. They should be getting ready to excavate for the new summer in 2020 now. But not anytime soon. Still, Marty’s net worth is increasing because of his companies.
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