When a rider lines up at the gate for the Monster Energy Cup they have a 4% chance of winning the race.
But, to win the $1 Million, they will need to win all three races. Chances of that occurring, 1.5%.
On top of that, a fan of Supercross could win $1 Million! Over 35,000 fans entered and 10 were selected, a .0003% of a chance of being selected. Then, if you were one of the ten selected, you got a chance to grab cash in a cash grab machine for a chance to win $1 Million dollars if a rider wins the million. Chances to grab the most cash 1 in 10.
Add all of the numbers together, to have a rider win to make the fan a winner and $2 Million to flow out of Vegas, the odds of that happening are 1 in 45,000,000 roughly or a .000000003% chance of happening.
But it’s Vegas! Let it ride right?
Until Marvin Musquin won the $1 Million in 2017, winning all three races was a chore! After winning the first two of three races with relative ease, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac was in prime position to be the first ever multi time Monster Energy Cup winner but this time he stood to make the $1 Million unlike last time and in doing so making the million dollar fantasy of a fan come true.
Gate drop for the third and final race of the night with anticipation everywhere. Tomac finds himself in the ….. middle of the pack.
So now what are the odds that Tomac would win the $1 Million, 100% the minute he worked his way up to second place running behind teammate Joey Savatgy.
All that was missing from the last lap pass from Tomac was the return hand wave you give when merging into traffic. $2 Million dollars was being handed out in the most improbable giveaway in Supercross history but the luster on the trophy was dimmed just a little.
This is what teams are for. Putting the team into position to succeed and fighting for each other. At times, those lines are blurry between racers, but this race was a brilliant example of the team owner calling the shots. Savatgy could have easily crossed the line in first with Tomac in second bringing the overall win to Tomac none the less, but the $1 Million dollar prize would have been gone faster than a slot machine taking your money.
So what does this mean for the sport? Has the luster of rivalries begun to dim? Will Supercross fans lose interest with the knowledge that the overall results can be manipulated by the riders?
Supercross is definitely still trending in a positive direction and Tomac is one of the top faces of the sport in the post Ryan Villopoto/Ryan Dungey era of dominance.
Take it from the $1 Million dollar contestant winner, Jesse Herbert.
“If at the end of the day, my prize for being here at the race was to shake hands with the riders, I would have counted myself a lucky man,” said Herbert. “When you grow up watching and rooting for these riders, there is a feeling of connection. When you shake their hands it cements that connection. It is an awesome feeling. To have Eli (Tomac) win the entire thing and in turn make this crazy contest a $1 Million reality, it’s surreal.”
Herbert is not the only one who would feel that way. What makes Supercross special for the fans is the connection that they can have with the racers before the race, in the way that they can interact with them in the pits. This is the connection that will continue to allow Supercross to grow, even when the outcome of the race could be altered.