How not to bet the Kentucky Derby

We love betting the trifecta. For a buck or two, you can win hundreds if not thousands of dollars on a race. Hell, sometimes we’ll even go crazy and go with the trifecta box. However, we also know enough about statistics to know that you can’t bet every single permutation in a race and expect to come out on top.

But that’s exactly what a man in Rochester, NY did. On the day of the Kentucky Derby, a man walked into an OTB and asked how much it would cost to buy every possible trifecta combination. And now we break for a quick math lesson–

If you have 20 horses in the field, the possible outcomes for the first three horses would be 20! / (20-3)! = 6,840. Likewise, a superfecta (first 4 horses) would be 116,280. And now back to your regularly scheduled programming–

The man was told the answer and came back to place the wagers. It cost him a total of $13,680 for his $2 trifectas and he wound up winning… wait for it… wait for it… $440. If you’re gonna make a bet like this, you better know what you’re getting yourself into. And since the payout odds are terrible on favorites, you should just eliminate those trifecta combinations. But alas, the man had more cash than math skills so now he’s $13,240 poorer for his trouble.

This story would only be better if he does the exact same thing in the Preakness.

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RSS Feed for This Post4 Comment(s)

  1. BIGPHILLY | May 8, 2007 | Reply

    2006 Trifecta — Paid $11418

    So he still wouldn’t have broken even.

    Dumb bet.

  2. Vin | May 8, 2007 | Reply

    yep — basically, the only want this bet pays is if you only bet the longshots. You could cut your risk in half at least by doing that. I guess he was expecting a 2005 type of payout: 133k. Just a stupid stupid bet.

  3. anonymous | May 8, 2007 | Reply

    side bet — guy obv had a sidebet

  4. LarryOrr | May 8, 2007 | Reply

    I heard — his mother was a mudder, his father was a mudder. he loves the slop!

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