Last Chance Joe handle-less toby jug produced in Japan circa 1970 exclusively for the Nugget Casino & Motor Lodge of Sparks, Nevada. Last Chance Joe is a gun-toting gold prospector from the golden age of the Gold Rush. The California Gold Rush (1848-1855) was a gold rush that began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California. The news of gold brought approximately 300,000 people to California from the rest of the United States and abroad. The sudden influx of gold into the money supply reinvigorated the American economy; the sudden population increase allowed California to go rapidly to statehood in the Compromise of 1850. At the beginning of the Gold Rush, there was no law regarding property rights in the goldfields and a system of "staking claims" was developed, requiring prospectors to aggressively protect their claims. Prospectors retrieved the gold from streams and riverbeds using simple techniques such as panning.