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

Last year was another record breaking year for the amount of money wagered on the Kentucky Derby. In 2018, there was $227.5 million bet on the entire race card from all-sources. Smashing the previous mark set just a year ago in 2017 of $209.2 million.

As far as the actual race itself, there was $149.9 million bet across all-sources. Another new record, beating the 2017 mark of $139.2 million.

While the money bet reached new limits, attendance numbers were down again. Only 157,813 showed up, but a lot of that was due to the poor conditions. While the number of attendees was only down slightly from the 158,070 that attended in 2017, it’s a far cry from the 170,513 that were at the big event in 2015.

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
2018157,813$39.2$24.6$227.5$149.9
2017158,070$32.8$20.1$209.2$139.2
2016167,227$23.5$11.3$192.6$124.7
2015170,513$23.0$12.0$194.3$137.9
2014164,906$23.4$11.9$186.6$129.2
2013151,616$21.1$11.5$184.6$130.5
2012165,307$23.7$12.3$187.0$133.1
2011164,858$23.4$11.5$165.2$112.0
2010155,804$21.5$11.1$162.7$112.7
2009153,563$21.1$10.2$156.0$104.6
2008157,770$24.2$12.1$164.7$114.6
2007156,635$24.1$12.1$168.1$118.3
2006157,536$24.5$12.1$175.1$106.2
2005156,435$22.8$10.1$155.8$103.3
2004140,054$19.2$9.5$142.8$99.3
2003148,530$20.6$9.1$140.4$88.0

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