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Gillette man’s $3 bet leads to nearly half-million win

GILLETTE (WNE) — A Gillette man won big earlier this month when he won nearly half a million dollars at Wyoming Downs and set a state record.

On Feb. 5, Clint Hoffman was at the Wyoming Downs location on South Douglas Highway, in the former Mingles building. He put down $3 at a historic horse racing machine, and won a $490,685.58 jackpot.

The haul was a Wyoming record for the largest jackpot ever won at a historic horse racing terminal. The machines have been in Wyoming since 2013, and each year hundreds of millions of dollars in wagers are placed.

“We are so excited to be a part of this record setting jackpot,” Rick Cook, chief operating officer at Wyoming Downs, said in a press release. “We are thrilled Wyoming Downs is home to the state’s largest jackpot win.”

A portion of each wager made on historic horse racing terminals across the state goes toward the jackpot and builds up over time. Cook said this particular jackpot had been accumulating for about a year.

From 2017 through the first seven months of 2020, a total of $2.1 billion was wagered on historic horse racing in Wyoming, and $1.9 billion has been paid out to winners.

In 2019, a total of $793,477,137 was wagered on historic horse racing and 17% of that, or nearly $140 million, was wagered in Gillette. Through the first seven months of 2020, $61 million was wagered in Gillette.

Both years, Gillette bet the second highest dollar amount in the state, trailing only Cheyenne.