The Kentucky Derby is a special event that happens each year at Churchill Downs. Even those that aren’t horse racing fanatics fill inclined to not only watch but wager on this big event.

I found myself wondering just how much money was being wagered. What I found was staggering, considering we’re talking about something that lasts a mere 2 minutes.

How Much was Wagered on the Kentucky Derby & Attendance This Year

Several records were broken in 2017. There was $209.2 million wagered for the entire 14-race card. Eclipsing the previous high mark of $192.6 million.

The race itself pulled in a record $139.2 million. A huge jump from last year’s total of $124.7 million and just past the previous record of $137.9 million in 2015.

There was $32.8 million bet on the card via the online and mobile platform. With $20.1 million coming in for the main event.

While the money bet reached new limits, there was quite a drop in attendance. Only 158,070 showed up to the festival. A big decrease from the 167,227 that attended in 2016 and the second lowest mark in the last seven years. The weather certainly didn’t cooperate and played a role in the attendance drop. There was also a $20 increase on general admission tickets for those that didn’t already have them.

I’ve put together a table that looks back at the betting history. As you can see, the cash intake on this has grown dramatically in the last two decades. There was just $140.4 million bet on the entire card back in 2003 and that’s about as much as what we now get on just the final race.

It’s important to keep in mind the numbers below don’t reflect the entire picture. The amounts are only for the money taken on North American racetracks.

It does not include figures from sportsbooks online or Las Vegas. It’s been reported that Vegas sportsbooks take in about an average of $33 million per month. There average take home in May is roughly $11 million more at $44 million. As for the online books, they were estimated to take in $26.8 million on the entire program in 2016. With around $16.6 million on the main event.

If you are considering wagering on this historic event this year or in the future, be sure to check out our Derby guide.

Churchill Downs Betting History – How Much Money Gets Bet on the Race

YearAttendanceOn-Track ProgramOn-Track RaceAll Sources ProgramAll Sources Race

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