A gambler won $1.2 million at the Kentucky Derby with an $18 bet

Sean M. Haffey/Getty ImagesThe Kentucky Derby is one of the best days of the year for gambling, and one lucky woman in Texas had the run of her life, picking the winners of five consecutive races including the Derby to turn an $US18 investment into $US1.2 million.
  • Justify won the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, marking the sixth straight year that the favourite has taken home the roses.
  • Over 1,000 miles away, one lucky bettor turned an initial investment of $US18 into a $US1.2 million payday with the win.
  • The gambler, who asked not to be identified, correctly predicted the winner of five straight races at Churchill Downs, including a 40/1 longshot, with Justify likely being the easiest win of her day on her way to becoming a millionaire.

On Saturday, Justify won the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby, defeating what many agree was one of the most talented fields in years.

When Justify was first to cross the finish line, he won his owners $US1.4 million, as well as a shot at Triple Crown immortality, should his journey continue at the Preakness Stakes in two weeks.

But Justify and his owners weren’t the only winners on Saturday – one lucky woman, watching the races at an off-track betting parlor in Texas, turned an $US18 Pick-5 bet into a whopping $US1.2 million payday after picking the winners of five straight races at Churchill Downs.

The bettor, who asked not to be identified, started her stellar run of bets with a pick on Limousine Liberal (4/1) on the eighth race of the day. After picking Maraud (8/1) to win the ninth, the bettor made the most impressive selection of her night – backing Funny Duck to win the Pat Day Mile at longshot 40/1 odds.

Funny Duck came through, as did Yoshida (10/1) in the 11th race of the day, leaving her just a Derby winner away from cashing in. Justify, a 3/1 favourite, was likely the easiest pick of the mystery bettor’s impressive run.

Justify came through, marking the sixth straight Kentucky Derby to be won by the favourite, and all of a sudden our lucky bettor was a millionaire.

“To bet that little amount of money and win $US1.2 million is unheard of,” track spokesperson Rachel Bagnetto told ABC News. “In fact, it’s the first time it’s happened at Retama.”

Picking horses is one of the most challenging ways to win money gambling, but if you’re ever going to go on a run of picking five straight winners, there’s likely not a better time to do it than the Saturday of the Kentucky Derby.

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