2023 Kentucky Derby Facts, History with Most-to-Least Gambling- Addicted States Stats

On Saturday, May 6th, the 149th Kentucky Derby will take place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., with Mint juleps and fancy hats in tow. There is something really special about the most thrilling two minutes in sports.

But did you know that $274 million was wagered on the “Run for the Roses” race last year? That is nine percent more than the previous record in 2019. That is the national gross product of some small nations.

Well, the personal-finance website WalletHub yesterday released a pair of reports, one showcasing fun facts about the first leg of the Triple Crown and another analyzing which states have the biggest gambling problems.

  • 150K – Number of attendees expected for the 2023 Kentucky Derby, that is 15 times more compared to the first race in 1875. Yes, that was a long time ago, but still.
  • $78 Million – Net revenue increase due to the Kentucky Derby & Oaks in 2022.
  • $250 to $1,000 – Price of a high-end Kentucky Derby hat (90 percent of female spectators wear hats).
  • 120K – Number of Mint Juleps served over Kentucky Derby weekend, requiring 1,000 pounds of fresh mint and 60 thousand pounds of ice.
  • 522,000 – Number of cans of beer that will be consumed. 142,000 hot dogs will be eaten. Yes, a food and drink combination fit for any sporting event.
  • $1.28 Billion – Sales of thoroughbred horses in 2022 (up 11 percent from 2021).

Nevada claims the top spot as the most gambling-addicted state. There is no surprise there. My current home state of New Jersey comes in at No. 6. Thank you, Atlantic City and legalized sports betting. Utah, the state that does not allow much fun, is ranked at the least gambling-addicted state at 50th.

Most Gambling-Addicted StatesLeast Gambling-Addicted States
1. Nevada41. Connecticut
2. South Dakota42. Florida
3. Montana43. Nebraska
T-4. Louisiana44. Kansas
T-4. Mississippi45. Wisconsin
6. New Jersey46. Maine
7. Oklahoma47. Hawaii
8. West Virginia48. Alaska
9. Pennsylvania49. Vermont
10. Oregon50. Utah

To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit: https://wallethub.com/edu/states-most-addicted-to-gambling/20846.

A side note: The jockeys with the most wins, 5, are Eddie Arcaro (1938, ’41, ’45, ’48 & ’52) and Bill Hartack (1957, ’60, ’62, ’64, ’69).

— Jerry Del Priore


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