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Jackpot Hi-5 Talk Still Resonating

Published: April 6, 2015 4:50 pm ET

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This past Saturday night (April 4), the mandatory payout for Woodbine Racetrack’s Jackpot Hi-5 wager was the talk of the North American horse racing industry. Talk of the wager is still resonating, and Balmoral Park racing analyst Michael Antoniades has offered his thoughts on what was a record night at Woodbine.

A record Jackpot Hi-5 carryover of $847,458.26 had accumulated over the past several months and was offered in a mandatory payout on Woodbine’s Saturday card. The Jackpot Hi-5 had $2,581,505 (before takeout) of new money wagered Saturday night, bringing the total pool size to $3,438,963. After takeout, a total of $3,041,738 was paid out. The winning combination was 4-2-8-12-6 and the Jackpot Hi-5 paid $4,317.55 for a $1-based wager and $863.51 for a 20-cent ticket.

After the dust settled, Antoniades wrote that “The incredible value of the High Five would bring sports bettors, Thoroughbred bettors, poker players and gamblers from around the world to invest in the greatest of wagering opportunities, resulting in a Woodbine High Five pool that would break all North American records.”

The contents of Antoniades’ piece appear below.


On Saturday night, the gambling industry witnessed the perfect storm. Woodbine offered a one-race wager that captivated the gambling world. A combination of huge carryover, takeout reduced by more than 40 per cent to create the huge carryover, a 20-cent minimum and a mandatory payout gave the players a large advantage statistically, resulting in a wager that paid out significantly more money than it took in. The incredible value of the High Five would bring sports bettors, Thoroughbred bettors, poker players and gamblers from around the world to invest in the greatest of wagering opportunities, resulting in a Woodbine High Five pool that would break all North American records.

The Saturday High Five wagers totalled a record $2,581,505. The carryover of $847,458 brought the total pool to $3,428,963, another North American record for harness racing. After the takeout of $387,225, the net pool was $3,041,738 creating a surplus to the winners of $460,232, a fact that was not lost on those investors that knew their mathematics.

The High Five was raced and the result was the second most logical of all from a statistical point of view. The 4-5 favourite Camaes Fellow was victorious followed by the 4-1 second favourite, the7-1 third favourite, the 12-1 fifth favourite and the 11-1 fourth favourite. This fairly predictable finish resulted in 3,522 twenty-cent winners. When the results were posted, even the most optimistic players in the game could not believe the payoff they were seeing.

The payout was incredibly generous. We will make things easier by converting all race 11 wagers to a one-dollar payout. The exacta paid $7.59, the trifecta paid $36.10 and the super paid $211.90. The High Five paid $4,317.55 for a buck. In other words, the High Five paid over 20 times the superfecta by simply adding the next favourite in the betting. The 20-cent price was $863.51. This unbelievable payout rewarded the players handsomely for successfully putting a winning ticket together on a bet that was from a pure numerical standpoint one of the greatest wagering opportunities ever offered. Thank you to all horseplayers for your huge support of low takeout wagers, making more of them possible.

Handle for the 11-race card was a season high $4,696,209. It was extremely encouraging to see the tracks that were still racing, the Meadowlands Racetrack, Balmoral Park and Cal Expo showing the Woodbine High Five race on their signal highlighting the most important race of the night. This is the type of cooperation that I hope we will see later this year for the North America Cup, the Meadowlands Pace, the International Trot, the Breeders Crown and others. Congratulations to Woodbine for an extraordinary job. Best wishes to Mohawk as they open up their expanded meeting with a ten race card on Thursday.



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