Melbourne Cup 2019 sweep: Setting up your office competition

Get your 2019 Melbourne Cup sweep off and racing with our handy guide. Pic: Getty/Yahoo Sport

If you’re looking to organise an office sweepstake for the 2019 Melbourne Cup, we have you covered with this handy PDF print out and handy guide to how it all works.

What is a sweepstake

A sweep (or sweepstake) is a type of lottery popular in Australia, particularly when it comes to the Melbourne Cup.

Usually played between a group of friends or work colleagues, it involves each contestant buying and drawing tickets out of a hat (in this case Melbourne Cup horses) that represent the name of the horse they hope will win.

The total amount of money accrued is then divided into prize pools (eg 1st, 2nd, 3rd and last place), with players claiming the prize money that corresponds with how their horse fared.

Examples of prize pools include:

First place: 60% of total kitty

Second Place: 25% of total kitty

Third place: 10% of total kitty

Last place: 5% of total kitty

You can choose how to distribute the winnings to suit your own sweep but typically the winner takes at least half of the total money.

Contestants buy into the sweep and when all tickets are sold (ie all horses have been taken), the prize money can be divided accordingly.

Cross Counter jockey Kerrin McEvoy (L) and trainer Charlie Appleby (R) pose with the 2018 Melbourne Cup trophy. Pic: Getty

Players can choose to buy more than one ticket to improve their chances (maximum number of tickets allowed is at the discretion of the organiser).

How to start your own sweep

  • Cut out the rectangles representing all the horses in the race

  • Fold each rectangular piece of paper and place them into a bucket or a hat that each contestant can pick from

  • Choose a monetary value (eg $10 a ticket) that every player will pay for one ticket (contestants can buy multiple tickets for more chances of winning)

  • When all tickets are sold, tally up the total amount of money and divide it up accordingly between the prize pools