One woman is sharing how she “hit the jackpot” after finding gold worth the equivalent of over £80,000 and believes she could become a millionaire any day now.
Tyler Mahoney, 27, from Western Australia is a professional gold digger which four generations of her family have done.
Originally from Kalgoorlie, she moved to Melbourne, Victoria after having had “enough” of small-town life.
However, after two years of being away, Ms Mahoney returned to her small town and her first love of gold-digging.
She works alongside her parents and her brother Reece, 24, and has been able to hunt down gold worth up to $100,000 (£80,145).
In the summer months, Ms Mahoney usually works from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. but often works 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in winter.
She explained: “I love prospecting because there is no stability to it. I could make $0 tomorrow or next week but on the other hand, I could be a millionaire by tomorrow.
“It is so addictive – the possibility that you’re going to find that big nugget is really addictive – you get a constant dopamine hit.
“In Melbourne, I had a stable life with a stable job and I just realised that was not the life for me.”
According to the young woman, being a gold digger and finding treasure gives her a “dopamine hit every time”.
At the end of the month, when the payment is calculated, all of the family will split the payment fairly between them.
Gold prices are set at the US dollar globally but gold nuggets are extremely rare so often can be sold for a premium
Thanks to their 11 years in gold-digging, the family has a wealth of contacts to rely on to help make them a lot of money.
Ms Mahoney added: “We have owned a gold dealership for 11 years, we’re lucky we have a lot of contacts.
“If I was to sell my gold to a gold dealer, I would get the spot price for it. If I were to sell it through my website, I am the gold dealer so I would sell for a premium.
“The Australian gold price is around $90 per gram, so I would sell my gold nugget to the public for $120 a gram because there is a premium – there are lots of layers to it, there isn’t a one answer fits all. There is a type of gold called sponge gold, they really are.
“We found one of those for triple the spot price – today that is $270 a gram – something like that goes to a collector.”