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Waerner cashes in $51,607 for 2020 Iditarod victory

(KTUU)
Published: Apr. 7, 2020 at 1:40 PM AKDT
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A purse totaling $501,120 for the 2020 Iditarod has been divvied up among the finishers race officials said Tuesday, and $51,607 will go to champion Thomas Waerner, who won this year's race in 9 days, 10 hours, 37 minutes and 47 seconds.

Waerner’s haul is a slight uptick from that of Bethel's Pete Kaiser in 2019. Kaiser raked in $51,299 that year.

In the last ten years, four-time winner Dallas Seavey’s $75,000 earnings in 2016 alone stands as the highest amount paid out for recent races. From 2010 to 2014, prize money for the Iditarod champion held steady at $50,400, before rising to $70,000 in 2015 and staying in that ballpark until 2018 when it dropped back down to $50,612.

Iditarod Champions earnings since 2010

2010 – $50,400 (Lance Mackey)

2011 – $50,400 (John Baker)

2012 – $50,400 (Dallas Seavey)

2013 – $50,400 (Mitch Seavey)

2014 – $50,400 (Dallas Seavey)

2015 – $70,000 (Dallas Seavey)

2016 – $75,000 (Dallas Seavey)

2017 – $71,250 (Mitch Seavey)

2018 – $50,612 (Joar Leifseth Ulsom)

2019 – $51,299 (Pete Kaiser)

2020 – $51,607 (Thomas Waerner)

The race has struggled recently to keep longtime sponsors, losing Alaska Airlines and Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram this season — the latter having been a sponsor of the race for 30 years.

In a press release, the Iditarod Trail Committee announced the official breakdown of the race purse by finishing position, and said it was determined by the number of total finishers — 34 for the 2020 race. ITC officials said it’s customary for $1,049 payments for places 21 and up.

2020 Iditarod top-ten finisher earnings breakdown

1st – $51,607

2nd – $43,463

3rd – $40,113

4th – $36,163

5th – $33,263

6th – $28,413

7th – $26,813

8th – $25,263

9th – $23,763

10th – $22,313

Total for top 20 finishers of Iditarod XLVIII: $485,314

Trifecta prize money: $1,120

Total for places 21 through 34 ($1,049 per finisher): $14,686

Total purse for Iditarod XLVIII: $501,120

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