It’s the weekend of the Jackpot payout bet as Churchill Downs is set to “give away” its version of the latest craze to sweep thoroughbred racetracks across the nation…the jackpot wager.
Whether it is called a Rainbow 6 or a Bayou 5 the jackpot wager has caught on with the management of racetracks across the country and with bettors too.
And why not, after all it is a high takeout wager that tracks generate a lot of handle in day in and day out with the prospect of one lucky winner walking away with a life changing score. What’s not to like?
Well for starters opponents of the wager say that the takeout on this wager is over 52 percent unless someone holds the winning ticket. That is – even by racing standards – high as a giraffe’s ass.
But, proponents say that it gives the little guy – the guy or gal betting in the 20 cent increments a shot at a real payoff without competing against the huge syndicates that participate in the regular Pick 6 bets and that the bet lures those 2-dollar types to the track when they otherwise wouldn’t make a wager.
I won’t debate the merits of or the detriments of the jackpot wager even though it is an Election year and it seems everything can be argued about. But, as Amarillo Slim said, “if it is worth arguing about then it’s worth betting on.”
What I will do is urge you to wager on Saturday into the Churchill Downs Pick 6 jackpot. (If it survives Friday).
Now, why would a guy who just wrote that the effective takeout is 52% urge people to wager into that kind of against the odds bias? Because it is a mandatory payout and you can thank other people and their money for lowering the effective takeout so you can wager into a pool that has a quite reasonable takeout for such a large jackpot.
On Saturday, again barring a lucky winner on Friday, the pool will effectively be “seeded” with over 750,000 which means you start by trying to win other people’s money by a large factor. (some of that money is mine by the way) That is dead money meaning that money was wagered and lost days and weeks ago unlike the money being wagered into the poll on Saturday, which will be “live” money.