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Woman Scores Massive Payday in the Millions for Her $18 Bet at the Kentucky Derby

Woman Scores Massive Payday in the Millions for Her $18 Bet at the Kentucky Derby
Retama Park Race Track/Facebook

It's the dream of every attendee at the office Kentucky Derby party: to put down a casual $18 on some silly horse races and wind up a millionaire by dinner. One woman, who wishes to remain nameless, did just that this past Saturday, May 5, at the Kentucky Derby. She placed an $18 bet on her Pick 5 choices, correctly identified the winners of all 5 races (including the main event), and won a cool $1.2 million.

The lucky winner wasn't actually anywhere near the horses (who race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky). She placed her bet from Retama Park racetrack in Selma, Texas, and watched on television as race after race came up in her favor.

Rachel Bagnetto, a spokeswoman for Retama Park, said the woman's achievement was unprecedented:

It's extremely rare. To bet that little amount of money and win $1.2 million is unheard of. In fact, it's the first time it's happened at Retama.

Her picks were, in order, Limousine Liberal, Maraud, Funny Duck, Yoshida, and, of course, Justify in the main event. That all of these choices were correct is truly remarkable considering Funny Duck's odds of winning were set at 39-to-1, and Yoshida's were 9-to-1.

All this adds up to an incredible day for the anonymous gambler, who made nearly as much from her $18 bet as the actual winner of the Kentucky Derby ($1.24 million). One has to admit—that's quite the haul.

Most other Kentucky Derby viewers weren't quite as lucky.

Congratulations to all of this year's Kentucky Derby winners and condolences to the far more numerous losers. We can't all be pick the right horses, but it's worth a shot for $18.

H/T - ABC, BBC, Retama Park/Facebook