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Original Issue


Cash pours into 300 windows, at $25,000 per minute, between harness races at Yonkers Raceway where, last week, a world-record one-night handle off $2,531,060 was set. Within seconds after each race, a small army off men and machines has computed prices on the winning horses, and cashiers at 200 other windows begin honoring winning tickets. Here are the steps between morning line and payoff

Morning line odds are flashed to track Tote board (shown on TV monitor) when betting opens. After race result is official, same operator flashes payoff prices to board, generally within 90 seconds after the horses cross the finish line.

Accepting bet, operator will depress key on his machine for each sale. When he does, a record of that bet goes, by cable, to central Totalisator (right, above). Return impulse from Totalisator prints and releases ticket which is bettor's receipt.

Central totalisator automatically records and totals bets, and computes changing odds on all horses after subtracting the 15% which is the track's and state's share. Every 78 seconds new odds are flashed to the Tote board on the track.

Stripping record of bets from his machine, which locks at start of race, operator will send this and cash to money room where records and money of all sellers are balanced for each race. Meanwhile, fans watch progress of race (below).

Daily double, which accounts for about 8% of each night's betting, requires special handling. Totals bet on all 64 combinations of double entries are assembled (above), so that the odds and payoff prices can be figured (right) in advance.

Payoff prices other than daily double are computed in main calculating room (above). When judges certify results as official, prices are flashed from here to Tote board, then through Telautograph system (below) to each cashier (right).

Computing odds on double begins (above) immediately after first race. Payoff prices are figured on every entry in second race in combination with first race's winner. These are posted On Tote board before second race gets under way.

Cashiers accept and pay off on winning tickets (below). Each night, several thousand dollars' worth unaccountably fail to show up; at present, $150,000 in winning tickets remains uncashed. Deadline for redeeming these is next March 31.

Cash flows to eight money rooms where it is sorted by denominations, counted and bundled. In room shown above, approximately $130,000 is being handled. From here, also, goes money to cashiers before each race to pay off future winners.

Total take is trucked to bank by Wells Fargo after each night's racing. With it, track buys cash in different denominations to start operations next day, deposits its own receipts as well as New York State's share of the amount bet that night.

Cashed tickets are checked against record of money paid out at each window and are kept until the final redeeming date. This serves as double check when, months later, a winning ticket is presented for payoff. Phony ticket is a rarity.