Woman Becomes Millionaire from $18 Kentucky Derby Bet


What was a mere $18 bet turned into much more for one woman who wagered on the Kentucky Derby.

Margaret Reid of Austin, Texas, walked away with $1.2 million after Justify won the famed race on Saturday at Churchill Downs and helped her clinch a perfect “Pick 5” ticket.

Reid correctly picked the winners of the final five races of the day at Churchill Downs. Justify was the favorite to win the Derby, but her other picks included winners who went off at 8:1 and 11:1 odds.

Reid made the picks at Retama Park Race Track in Selma, Texas, near San Antonio. She said she has been going to the track for several years with her friends.

“It was an amazing feeling, yes, that you won a really big, like a really big ticket,” Reid said, according to Fox News. “A mini-lotto if you will.”

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“It was a big ticket because it was a couple of long shots in the middle of it,” Reid added.

Reid’s winnings were almost equal to that of Bob Baffert, trainer of Justify, and jockey Mike Smith. The Derby winner received $1.24 million out of a $2 million total prize for the race.

Picking the winners of five consecutive races is no easy feat, but Reid says she did her homework before placing her bet.

“I understand the program and I can break down the races,” she said. “It doesn’t always work out, but sometimes it does.”

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And when predicting winners of these races, there are certain statistics, such as age and post position, can make all the difference.

The track posted its congratulations to Reid, who has been its biggest winner thus far.

When asked about her newfound wealth, Reid said she will be treating herself to a nice vacation while also being careful with her money.

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“I’ll invest some of it,” she said. “Obviously.”

“I have a young daughter that’s going to be going to college in three years,” she added. “So some of it will go there.”

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ASU grad who loves all things reading and writing.
Becky is an ASU grad who uses her spare time to read, write and play with her dog, Tasha. Her interests include politics, religion, and all things science. Her work has been published with ASU's Normal Noise, Phoenix Sister Cities, and "Dramatica," a university-run publication in Romania.
Bachelor of Arts in English/Creative Writing
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