Hear ye, hear ye: fancy hat season is upon us! Between spring having finally sprung, the royal wedding going down later this month, and the Kentucky Derby kicking off on Saturday, get ready for your Instagram feeds to be filled with floppy pastel hats. But that's not what I'm here to tell you about. (I'll save that for a later date.) The tradition of the Kentucky Derby is a fun one, and the winner will go home with quite the prize. That being said, fans of the annual event might be wondering: How much money will the 2018 Kentucky Derby winner get?
This year, the Kentucky Derby "winning purse" is $2 million, which leaves the winner with approximately $1.24 million, as reported by CBS Sports. Not too shabby! To be more specific, the winner is entitled to 62 percent of the $2 million prize, which comes out to exactly $1.24 million. The remaining portion of the $2 million prize gets split amongst the four other horses in the top five, which, if it were split evenly, would average out to $310,000 each.
Now, as far as I know, horses are not that great at managing money. Not to mention, they don't have the opposable thumbs to use a wallet. That being said, where does the sweet cash prize actually go? Interestingly, it seems like most of the money goes to the horse's "ownership group," according to Bleacher Report. Plus, the winning horse's jockey, aka the person who rides the horse during the race, gets to pocket about 10 percent of the horse's winnings, which would come to $124,000, as per Metro.
And on top of the sweet cash, there are a few other prizes in store for the horse who wins the Derby. The winning horse will receive a garland made of more than 400 red roses, as noted by Sporting News, as well as plenty of notoriety.
So, what exactly is the Kentucky Derby? On Saturday, May 5, the first event of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing kicks off, otherwise known as the Kentucky Derby, in Lousville, Kentucky, as explained by Sporting News. The Derby is a race between 20 horses and their jockeys, who will race around a 1.25-mile racetrack. The race goes by super quickly — it's often referred to as the "Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports," as per CBS — so if you plan to tune in, one bathroom break could cause you to miss the entire race. Whichever horse finishes in the shortest time is crowned the winner, raking in the generous cash prize for its ownership group.
The tradition of the Kentucky Derby began back in 1872, according to Derby Craze. A man named Meriwether Lewis Clark (the grandson of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark) visited England, where he witnessed the Epsom Derby, which began back in 1780. After his trip to England he visited Paris, where he saw the French Jockey Club. When Clark returned to Kentucky, he took what he learned in Europe and organized the Louisville Jockey Club, which then planned and held the very first Kentucky Derby.
So now that you're all jazzed to watch the most exciting two minutes in sports on Saturday, here's all the info you need to know. The big event is scheduled for 6:34 p.m. Eastern Time, but the actual race will start a few minutes later, at 6:46 p.m. ET, according to CBS News. If you have a TV, you can tune into NBC to watch the race live, and it will also be available for streaming on the NBC Sports App and the NBC Sports Live website free of charge, as noted by Town & Country. Happy Derby-ing!