Horse racing hasn’t done an especially good job of ‘thinking outside of the box’ in terms of promoting the sport to a new audience. One of the few bright spots has been the addition to ‘jackpot style’ exotic wagers intended to compete with the mega payouts offered by state lotteries or networked slot machines in land based casinos. Gulfstream Park has attracted a considerable amount of interest from horse players with their ‘Rainbow 6′ bet. Now Churchill Downs is planning to offer a similar wager and could seed it with money from the huge Kentucky Derby day betting handle.
The new bet at the iconic Kentucky racetrack will be called the ‘Single Six’–the name derived from the fact that like Gulfstream’s ‘Rainbow Six’ the bet will only have one big winner. It’s similar in many ways to the ‘Pick Six’–bettors are required to pick the winners in six consecutive races. The two big differences are the crux of it’s appeal: most significantly, the jackpot is paid out only if there is one winning ticket. In a traditional ‘Pick Six’ if there are multiple winning tickets they all split the jackpot. In the ‘Single Six’, that’s not the case. In the ‘Single Six’, if there are multiple winners a consolation prize is paid to each while 30% of the day’s pool goes into the jackpot. The only exception is the final day of the race meet where the payout of the full jackpot is mandatory. The other difference is cost–the ‘Single Six’ will have a minimum bet of just .20 cents compared to $2.00 for the ‘Pick Six’.
Churchill Downs is planning to launch their bet right after the Kentucky Derby and has a plan to ‘seed’ the pot with the massive Kentucky Derby handle. Here’s the plan–if there is a Pick Six carry over on May 7 (Kentucky Derby Day) it’ll be split in half. Half of the rollover will go to the next day of live racing (Thursday, May 12) as part of a traditional Pick Six pool. The other half will go into the pool for Friday, May 13 when the track will launch the ‘Single Six’. If the ‘Pick Six’ is hit on Derby Day the ‘Single Six’ will begin as a new bet on May 12 and continue throughout the Spring meet with a .20 cent minimum and 15 percent takeout.