Updated on 09/17/2011 9:55PM

Dime super winner gets lucky


Karen Black considers herself more of a handicapper than a hunch player, but she's not ashamed to admit her sensational superfecta score was pure luck.

Black, who regularly goes to Penn National Race Course to play simulcast races, took down the entire superfecta pool of $27,389.40 on a dime bet placed at Penn National on the eighth race at Lone Star Park on July 16.

Black, who lives in Highspire, Pa., near Harrisburg with her husband, Rick, said her original intention was to place $2 across the board on Lumbre, a horse whose appearance caught her eye and whom she considered a huge overlay at nearly 30-1.

Using a self-service betting machine, Black bet $2 to win, place, and show on Lumbre, then figured she would toss in a few more dollars on a dime superfecta. With only one minute to post time, however, she realized she had no time to handicap the rest of the field, so she hit the "quick pick" button and allowed the machine to randomly select a four-horse box for $2.40.

Black was pleased the machine chose the 3 horse - Lumbre - but only casually glanced at the remaining three numbers - 6, 7, and 9.

When Lumbre won, paying $61 to win and $105.60 for $2 across the board, Black was thrilled. Then she looked more closely and realized her superfecta ticket was a winner, too.

"I've played maybe 20 quick picks in my life, and I've hit a superfecta for a dime a couple of times," Black said. "But it was always for small amounts, like $7.82."

With a $61 horse on top, Black said she was expecting "maybe a couple of hundred dollars." But because the next three finishers were also longshots - Jonesy Rabbit at 20-1, Gold Expedition at 15-1, and Andanight at 33-1 - she was holding the only winning ticket.

"I had seen some huge payoffs on superfectas in the past, and I always said the people who hit these can't possibly have handicapped those horses," Black said. "Well, I have to say that's just what happened to me. It was pure luck."

The Blacks used a portion of the winnings to complete construction of a new patio, but they also wanted to share their good fortune with others, so they put about $700 in $20 and $50 bills in envelopes, returned to Penn National the next night, and passed out "gifts" to employees throughout the track.