“The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” generates a lot of buzz and money for little Louisville, Kentucky.
The first Kentucky Derby in 1875 brought in a crowd of 10,000 spectators. But now, an average of 150,000 people attend the Derby every year.
Fans sip about 120,000 mint juleps each year at Churchill Downs, which are priced at $11 a pop. You can make this traditional Kentucky Derby drink at home with Kentucky bourbon, crushed ice, powdered sugar, and mint.
Feeling a hunch? The biggest superfecta (when you pick the first four finishers of the race in correct order) payout ever occurred in 2005 with $864,243.50 won on a $1 bet. In 2009, a $1 bet earned $278,503.20.
There’s no horsing around if you want to enter the Derby! The entry fee is $25,000, and it costs another $25,000 if a horse is chosen to race. But all that money is worth it if you win: The winner gets $1,240,000, second place $400,000, third place $200,000. The first prize winner won just $2,850 in 1875.
Hotels are five times their regular price on Derby weekend. You pay at least $300 a night for a Louisville hotel room that costs $55 any other time.
A general admission ticket for the Kentucky Derby is $87. The cheapest Grandstand ticket is currently $190. The average sales price is $247, according to Ticketiq.com. The most expensive seat can cost more than $13,000 a person.
Derby fashion includes oversized hats for ladies. Average hat prices range from $500-$1000. Fun fact: The most expensive hat in the world has a price tag of $3 million and was worn at the AAMI Victoria Derby Day, adorned with diamonds and jewels.
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