Many people have emailed or called us to ask 'what is a Calcutta?' and 'how does it work?'.
First of all, tickets are sold – much like a raffle. Each ticket sold gives the purchaser a chance at winning a horse that is racing in the Melbourne Cup. The more tickets someone purchases, the higher the chance of their ticket being pulled out of the barrel to make them a horse owner.
On the Gala Calcutta evening the tickets are drawn. There are 24 horses racing in the Melbourne Cup, that means 24 tickets will be pulled out of the barrel. After this draw takes place, each horse now has an owner. Following the ticket draw, each horse then goes up for auction. Like all auctions, eventually someone has the winning bid. The person with the winning bid becomes the new owner of that horse.
The original owner of each horse receives 50% of the auctioned value. In 2005 the favorite Makybe Diva brought in $1900 at auction (the owner received $950). Railings also sold for $1,500 ($750), Leica Falcon $1,200 ($600), and even Eye Popper auctioned for $1,100 ($550). The rest of the proceeds go into the ‘winning pot’.
As an owner, you can also bid on your own horse (you may do this because it is favoured to win). If you bid on your own horse and your winning bid is $1000 – it will only cost you $500 (remember that 50% of the auctioned value goes back to the original owner – which in this instance is yourself).
After all the horses are auctioned off, the ‘winning pot’ is tallied and funds are divided between 1st (50% of the pot), 2nd (20% of the pot), and 3rd prize (10% of the pot) ,and of course the whole reason for the Calcutta - 20% of the pot ( along with other sponsorship funds ) goes to our preferred charity Alzheimer's Australia NSW.
This concludes the gala evening. Now we wait for the Melbourne Cup race to run the following day.
After the Melbourne Cup race has run, if you are the owner of the horse that wins the Melbourne Cup, you take out 1st prize which last year was $8204.50. So on and so forth with 2nd ($3281.80 the previous year)and 3rd ($1640.90 the previous year) places. The lucky recipients and owners then receive cheques in the post.