HOT SPRINGS – A local woman came up lucky yesterday when she found a discarded bet ticket on the ground at Oaklawn horse racing park worth over $57,000.
Taylor Wells was waiting in line at the betting counter following the 7th race on Thursday, January 16th when she spotted an unusual bet ticket on the ground.
“There are always tons of discarded bets on the ground in front of the betting counter. I sometimes glance down while I wait,” Wells told us. “I saw a $20 bet on a super-trifecta from an earlier race and thought that must have been a high dollar payout. So I picked it up with the intention of asking how much it would have been worth.”
Wells was immediately directed to the IRS window used for wagers valued over $5,000. Once there the teller informed Wells that the ticket was for a winning bet, a Super-Trifecta in the 4th race for horses 5-1-8-3 worth $57,614.
“After I regained consciousness from passing out I started searching every single ticket on the ground in front of me,” Wells said. “I still cannot believe what happened.”
Oaklawn officials tell us that roughly $100,000 in winning bets are unclaimed every year, though most not as large as the one Wells found. Many either do not realize they had a winning bet or mix up the race numbers and simply discard the bet slips on the ground. Oaklawn staff clean up as many as 17,000 bet tickets from the ground for large race days.
When asked what Wells plans to do with the winnings, which is worth around $43,000 after taxes, she told us “I think I am going to go blow it on one of those huge $40,000 Samsung TVs that everyone is talking about. That would be awesome to watch Dancing with the Stars on.”