Winning the Indianapolis 500 affords a driver heaps and heaps of praise and admiration. A victory at “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” also means a driver can afford much more.
Since the Indy Racing League altered its payout system beginning in the 2008 season, claiming a triumph at Indianapolis Motor Speedway has resulted in a grand prize of roughly $2.5 million out of a purse of $13.4 million.
Nine years ago the IRL announced payout changes for teams that planned to run the entire IndyCar Series. Shortened to TEAM, the team enhancement and allocation matrix pays racing teams who are committed to running the entire season $1.2 million for each car entered.
That same tweak and increase also resulted in a major boost to the 500’s purse. It jumped 25 percent from $10.7 million to today’s $13.4 million.
Still, the total winnings can vary each year due to various factors. Firstly, winning the pole generates one prize and winning the actual race secures another. The entire purse is generated by the selling of sponsorship and television rights, as well as ticket sales.
The Indy 500 will be run for the 100th time on May 29, which has already resulted in a sellout through the track’s grandstands and the infield events, according to reports.
But the winner’s total spoils are also dependent on how the rest of the field fares. The purse is decreased if not enough drivers run at least 180 laps, but increases if enough do.
Here’s how much the last 10 Indy 500 winners have pulled down.
Indianapolis 500 Winning Purses, Shares Last 10 years
2015 Juan Pablo Montoya won $2.449 million out of $13.397 million
2014 Ryan Hunter-Reay won $2.491 million out of $14.231 million
2013 Tony Kanaan won $2.353 million out of $12.020 million
2012 Dario Franchitti won $2.474 million out of $13.285 million
2011 Dan Wheldon won $2.567 million out of $13.509 million
2010 Dario Franchitti won $2.752 million out of $13.592 million
2009 Helio Castroneves won $3.048 million out of $14.315 million
2008 Scott Dixon won $2.988 million out of $14.406 million
2007 Dario Franchitti won $1.645 million out of $10.668 million
2006 Sam Hornish Jr. won $1.744 million out of $10.518 million