Top 10 Biggest Prizes in Sport History


Whether you are interested in team sports or individual sports, there are sporting events that pay out immense amounts of prize money. While impossible to compare the prizes one-on-one, this top 10 list gives a good spread of the biggest prizes in sport history handed out in various parts of the world. Horse racing, golf and tennis are individual sports that attract winning prizes, while soccer, football, baseball and cricket top the team sport prizes… with soccer taking the clear lead.

#10 Horse Racing: The Melbourne Cup

Biggest Prizes in Sport History
Melbourne Cup Tips by Ross Greenwood Photo: John Donegan/Getty Images

Australia’s premier horse race, the Melbourne Cup is also one of the richest in the world, paying out prize money in excess of A$6,400,000 (the equivalent of nearly US$5 million at the current rate of exchange). The prize money is paid out in a set ratio, with 85 percent going to the owner of the horse, 10 percent to the trainer, and the final five percent to the jockey who rode the horse to victory. In addition to prizes, there are valuable floating trophies worth more than $125,000. The race was first run in 1985, and the prize money at that time was a mere $1 million.