Christchurch punter celebrates biggest Melbourne Cup win ever in NZ

4 November 2020

One lucky TAB customer has taken home the largest winnings in New Zealand TAB history on the Melbourne Cup, pocketing $1.16 million. 

TAB NZ Executive Chair, Dean McKenzie said the winning bet was the largest paid out by the TAB in recent memory.

“Yesterday’s Melbourne Cup will go down in history for many reasons, including setting several records with the TAB’s highest number of bets placed, highest turnover and the biggest ever single payout to a customer,” said McKenzie.

“The retired man from Bishopdale in Christchurch placed a combination of First4 bets totalling $120.  One of those combinations for $30 returned $1,168,185.  The man received $38,939.50 for every dollar he bet. 

The winning bet was: 

  • 1st: Twilight Payment or Tiger Moth
  • 2nd: Twilight Payment or Tiger Moth
  • 3rd: Prince of Arran or The Chosen One
  • 4th: Prince of Arran or The Chosen One

“There are always wonderful stories that emerge out of the Melbourne Cup. For this Melbourne Cup punter, a $30 bet has turned out to be life changing,” said McKenzie. 

“We’ve been back through our records and this is the biggest collect we’ve ever returned. Looking back as far as 2013, the next biggest Melbourne Cup win was $364,016.”

The man has been a loyal customer at the Bishopdale TAB Branch for 25-years. 

“It was just surreal to see somebody win that amount of money. We were so excited for him. I think initially our excitement was higher than his because he was still in shock,” said branch Manager Kerralyn Hooper.  

“I’ve been involved with the TAB for 25 years and I’ve never seen anything like it. The customer is well known to us and a really nice guy so we’re just thrilled for him.”

Yesterday’s racing saw more than 2.2M bets sold by the TAB, up 9 percent on last year and exceeding the previous highest which was set in 2018. Total turnover was $26.6M for the day, 14 percent above last year and the highest Melbourne Cup Day ever. Turnover on the Melbourne Cup, Race 7 at Flemington of $11.5M exceeded the previous highest turnover on the race of $10.3M in 2018.