Melbourne Cup 2018: How to organise an office sweep

Get your gold coins ready for an office sweep. Photo: Justin McManus
Get your gold coins ready for an office sweep. Photo: Justin McManus

If you can't head down to the racetrack to soak in the atmosphere of the race that stops the nation then an office sweepstake is the perfect way to enjoy the event from afar.

A Melbourne Cup sweep is a lucky draw competition where the names of every horse racing will be drawn out at random.

Firstly, you'll need to get your gold coins ready and download the PDF of the Melbourne Cup sweep for 2018.

Twenty-four horses will run the 3,200-metre race. If you have more than 24 people, then you can double (or even triple) your sweep.

If you have less than 24 people, you can simply ask your punters to buy more tickets.

If a horse gets scratched on the morning of the race, there is no replacement so you may need to consider how to deal with scratched horses.

You may decide to go 'all-in' which means that no refund is given to a person whose horse is scratched from the race.

Alternatively, you may decide to pay a refund and alter the prize list. Both methods are acceptable provided entrants are advised beforehand.

Cut each horse out, throw all of the names into a hat, give it a good shake, and then allow the masses to randomly pick a horse in exchange for a nominal fee.

Make sure that each person shows you which horse they drew and write this down on the sweep template so that you have a record of each person’s horse.

While there is no set way to divvy the prize money a popular way to share the excitement is to allocate 60 per cent of winnings to first place, 30 per cent to second place and 10 per cent to third place.

If you'd rather a more fierce competition then you can adopt a winner-takes-all prize pool.

In Victoria, all of the money collected in the sweep must be returned as prizes and the total value of prizes distributed cannot be more than $5,000.

Prohibited prizes for a Cup Sweep in Australia include tobacco products, firearms, ammunition, weapons, cosmetic surgery and, in New South Wales and liquor prizes amounting to more than 20 litres.

Lastly, but most importantly, frock-up and huddle around a television with bubbly, crackers and cheese in hand to watch the big race and get ready to cheer on your picks.