This getaway trip will be memorable for 12 friends on their annual group outing sponsored by bourbon maker Jim Beam Brands Co., based in Deerfield, Ill. Because on Thursday, the group hit for $324,179.78 at Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino in Hallandale Beach.
The group hit the 20-cent Rainbow 6. That’s a jackpot that carries over from day-to-day until one single, unique ticket is sold that picks the winners in the day’s final six races. It was the first Rainbow 6 to hit in eight days, which is why the jackpot built up. (It’s gone even higher: The record for an individual payout came in March 2014, when a Palm Beach bettor cashed for $6,678,939.12.)
Last year, a prize pool of more than $15 million built up, but because there was no unique winner, the track had a mandatory payout of $89,456.54 to the 147 ticket holders with all six winners.
In the 11th race finale Thursday, Nick the Cardshark (no, that’s not me!) made his first career start, and won – having gone off at 25-1.
Like many who play the Rainbow 6, the group had all kinds of combination bets, in this case totaling $194.40. What was equally rare is that the winners were on-track – not simulcast betting elsewhere in the country. So they saw it live, and in person.
“We have a group outing that we do every February. They take all the guys that work together for a day at the races,” Art Friedman, who put together the winning ticket, told Gulfstream officials. “We get a suite and we started playing this. We pooled our money together two years ago and almost hit it then; we missed in the final race. Last year we played and we didn’t do as well.
“…Everybody put in $20 and I picked the numbers this year.” He notes that many in the group are originally from Florida.
I’ll do the math for you: $324K divided 12 ways comes out to about $27,000 each. Not bad…