Fans make bets on their favorite mushers

This year was the first time in the Iditarod’s history that the race organizers set up a system allowing fans to make bets on their favorite mushers. The Iditarod announced this week that Dean Pflaum of New Jersey won the cash prize. He was one of only two players out of 560 who correctly chose Norwegian Thomas Waerner as the Iditarod champion.

The gaming system, called Trifecta, allowed players to place a $10 bet on the winning musher, how fast the musher would finish, and how many dogs would be in harness when they crossed the finish line.

Pflaum guessed a winning time of nine days, 10 hours, 11 minutes, and 12 seconds. His pick was only 26 minutes off Waerner’s winning time. The second person who chose Waerner was off by just seven hours. Pflaum takes home $2,240 for his guess.

The pot was split 40 percent to the winner, 40 percent to the Iditarod, and 20 percent split between the top 20 mushers. Iditarod CEO Rob Urbach says he is already working on new elements to add to the game for the 2021 Iditarod.


Alexander Deedy formerly worked as the assistant editor and digital content manager for Alaska magazine.

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