Instead of turning in a $2 ticket that would pay $3.80 for American Pharoah winning the Belmont Stakes, most people who bought the tickets are hanging on to them as keepsakes — or even investments.
American Pharoah became the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win the venerable Triple Crown. The three-year-old colt entered Saturday’s race as a heavy favorite — and it seems that thousands of people who bet on him to win were doing so in the hopes of getting a souvenir.
“Of the 94,128 $2 win wagers placed on American Pharoah from Friday until Saturday’s Belmont, 90,237 (nearly 96 percent) remain live — uncashed — according to figures released Monday by AmTote International,” the AP says.
Even before his historic win, betting tickets that backed American Pharoah were drawing a premium. CNN Money reported on Friday:
“A winning ticket might pay just a few bucks at the window, but it could soon be worth as much as $100 as a collectors item, according to Stephen Costello, executive vice president of Steiner Sports, a sports memorabilia seller.
“Tickets were already trading on eBay… for more than their face value before American Pharoah took the Triple Crown. One winning ticket that paid $2 has been bid up to $21.50. And those prices are likely to keep climbing.”
American Pharoah has returned to Kentucky, where he’ll be celebrated for breaking the Triple Crown drought. The horse will continue to train and race, his owners say.