Casinos may be closed, but the horses continue to run around their tracks – watched only on television or online. And the betting continues. And one bettor turned 50 cents into $525,000 by picking 5 longshots in a row.

Pick 5

In horse racing, the only way anyone can turn chump change into champion cash is by betting entirely on severe longshots – and pick all 5 winners in a row. And that’s exactly what one anonymous bettor did at Gulfstream Park in Florida recently.

The first three legs in the Gulfstream Park Pick 5 were won by horses with longshot odds of 70/1, 36/1, and 26/1. The previously-unlucky horses winning the first three races were Freddy Soto, Union Lane, and He’s a Babe.

Nine bettors in Pick 5 wagers of 50 cents hit it big in the first three races, raking in nearly $15,000 each. But one lucky punter correctly picked all 5 winners – all longshots – and increased the win to $525k. The last two horses in the longshot win were Enzoexpress and Lashara.

Pick 5 is part of the parimutuel system of betting, where punters place mutliple wagers at the same time, and all bets are pooled to create a jackpot. Winners share the jackpot.

Record Wins

The lucky bettor joins a rare breed of gambling stallions who hit the jackpot by correctly picking all five winners in the Pick 5, hitting the jackpot. The Gulfstream Park winner was the fifth-highest Pick 5 winner in North American history.

According to a horse racing info site owned by Churchill Downs in Kentucky, the highest Pick 5 payoff was $889,726 on August 9, 2013. The lucky winner picked all five and hit the jackpot at Louisiana Downs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down most casinos in the world, but horses race on in most states – minus the crowds. In Kentucky, horse racing has been suspended and the Kentucky Derby rescheduled to September 5.

Many horsemen fear the race track closures may affect the performance of their prized horses. After all, horses require proper training, exercise, and regular racing to maintain peak performance.

With months of horses out to pasture, there’s no telling what the longshot odds will be when the delayed Kentucky Derby finally returns.


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Thomas McCoy was born in Bethesda, Maryland and studied finance at the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington D.C. before heading to New York and a job as a forex trader on Wall Street. Successful enough to launch his own, online forex trading platform, Thomas has long had a keen interest in the places where the worlds of finance and technology meet. As a prolific blogger, Thomas considers himself an expert on cryptocurrencies, casino asset restructuring, and emerging technologies set to change the way people do business.