Gamblers around the country had been waiting for Monday's races at Gulfstream Park for months. They had spent the weekend cramming, watching videos, preparing for the chance at the score of a lifetime. The Rainbow 6, a $20 minimum bet, had been carrying over for 41/2 months, the jackpot up to $6.6 million.
It got so huge because, unlike a typical Pick 6, the Rainbow 6 carryover pool gets paid out only if there is a single winning ticket. Monday was what is known as a "mandatory" payout, with anybody having all six winners getting paid. It was anticipated that as much as $15 million in new money would be bet into the pool. It was like getting into a poker hand after $6.6 million is in the pot.
Only Dan Borislow reached in and took the pot. While everybody else was plotting for Monday, Borislow, who lives in Palm Beach, Fla., saw an opportunity. Unlike Monday's gigantic fields, Sunday's field sizes were small. He figured if he could pick the winner in one race, he could cover the other five and hope to get lucky. He was lucky, he was smart and he got all the money. After buying two tickets at the Palm Beach Kennel Club worth $15,206.40, Borislow took down the entire jackpot, worth $6,678,939.12.
While everybody else was anticipating Monday's mandatory payout where you knew if you hit it, you would get at least a share of the biggest Pick 6 pool in American history, Borislow snuck in the back door and got the cash.
"I've been doing that my whole life," Borislow said.
From his New Hope, Pa.-based Tel-Save, the exclusive long-distance provider for AOL back in the day, to Magic Jack, his Internet phone device, Borislow has always been in projects that have the potential for a big score. And he has made more than his share.
He also loves the track where he is renowned as one of America's biggest bettors. He has owned horses for more than 20 years, including multiple stakes winner Toccet, named after Rick Tocchet.
Still, even for Borislow, this was some score. So, how did he do it? Well, he used every horse in five of the six races and four of the 10 horses in the other race. Even for somebody with deep pockets, that strategy could not have worked Monday because the fields were so big that it would have cost $500,000 to cover every possibility. On Sunday, that cost was $28,000.
If he could pick one winner, Borislow was going to have the Rainbow 6, but that still did not guarantee him the jackpot. He was going to have to hold the only ticket. No favorites won all day. A 16-1 shot won the first leg, with a 9-10 shot finishing fifth. Then, it was a 10-1 with another 9-10 finishing fifth, followed by a 5-1 with still another 9-10 finishing fifth. Borislow was living right. He was knocking out players who certainly would have had the favorites.
One of his four horses did win the fourth of the six legs at 4-1 so, after the 2-1 favorite finished fourth and a 7-2 shot won the fifth leg, Borislow had 11 live tickets, covering every horse, heading into the last race of the sequence.
There were eight other live tickets held by one or more players. Six of Borislow's tickets were on horses that nobody else had. He needed one of them to win to get the jackpot. Otherwise, he would have made a nice score, probably around $100,000, and the jackpot would have carried to Monday.
The final race came down to a three-horse photo. Borislow had one of the horses solo, but not the other two. When the photo showed Callana winning by a nose, Borislow got it all.
Monday afternoon, Borislow attended a high school graduation party for his son Danny, who will be attending Penn's Wharton School in the fall. Borislow probably was not going to have the time to play the Rainbow 6 Monday. So, he solved that problem on Sunday.
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