Who On The Curse Of Oak Island Gets To Keep The Treasure?

In May of 2021, Season 8 of the hit reality series "The Curse of Oak Island" reached its exciting conclusion (per History Channel). The last episode revealed enticing evidence that the gold and silver treasure, which brothers Marty and Rick Lagina and their team had been searching for, was closer than ever to being found. But, this posed an interesting question as Season 9 got underway in November of 2021: After such painstaking work to uncover the legendary loot, who gets to keep it? Rick and Marty Lagina took the time to address that question in a video posted by the History Channel on YouTube.

Oak Island is located just off the coast of Nova Scotia and has a long history of treasure hunters searching for buried gold (via Men's Health). The story goes that around 1795, Daniel McInnis found a rock with mysterious markings that were later determined to read: "40-feet below 2 million pounds are buried," according to Wonderopolis. With that kind of money on the line, the island was scoured with little luck. Over the years, additional searches were conducted, more evidence was found, and more setbacks and mishaps occurred, which served to deepen the mystery.

Some of the treasure goes to the government

If, in fact, the long-fabled Oak Island treasure is found during the History Channel reality series, the next steps for the Lagina brothers would be to consult with the Canadian government, as stated in the Oak Island Treasure Act. Per Marty and Rick Lagina on History's YouTube channel, what that means is the Lagina team would get to keep 90% of what might be found, while the government would get to keep the remaining 10%. The issue gets more complicated when it comes to exactly how individual items are divided up.

For example, a valuable solid-gold cross might be determined by the government to be an artifact of historical importance. It would then be kept by the government, and it's the sole discretion of Canadian authorities to make that call, according to the Lagina brothers' YouTube video. In other words, it matters in the eyes of the government what constitutes a treasure or an artifact. Furthermore, Rick and Marty expect that when and if the Oak Island treasure is ever found, many claimants to the riches will come forward. Settling those disputes could be the next chapter in the story of the Oak Island treasure.