Cross Counter edged out the field to take the 2018 Melbourne Cup, sending punters around the nation wild as the race that stops the nation gripped Flemington.

One lucky Kiwi punter cashed in almost $100,000 after splurging a generous $8700 on the TAB at odds of $11 to win $95,700.

The New Zealand Racing Board said it had a record 1.7 million bets on the Cup, with 2529 of them on the winner, Cross Counter.

Meanwhile, an Australian bettor placed an astonishing $50,000 wager at $10 for Cross Counter to reign supreme was placed on Monday, becoming TAB's biggest bet received for the iconic race, which was tipped to turn over $250 million on raceday.

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The unknown racing fan will return to the bookie with a receipt for half a million smackaroos. He (or she) topped a list of gutsy Cross Counter backers. One fan plonked $6000 at $11 odds, while another placed $4500 on the gelding to bring home $42,750.

Cross Counter ridden by Kerrin McEvoy wins the Lexus Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse. Photo / Getty
Cross Counter ridden by Kerrin McEvoy wins the Lexus Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse. Photo / Getty

Marmelo, who was the key player in news.com.au's $100 betting guide before the race, came in second after being pipped from the throne with A Prince Of Arran (third) and Finche (fourth) following close behind.

Race favourites Yucatan and Magic Circle bounced around the odds table in the hours leading up to the final gun with the former finishing at $6.50 after stretching from $5.50 to $8. But the pair were never in contention for the top prize after falling behind early in the piece.

BIGGEST CUP FLOPS

Everyone likes to think they have an idea, but at the end of the day, a lot of the final result comes down to chance.

One especially gutsy punter placed a whopping $17,000 on Finche to win at $31 odds. The stallion, who threatened to snag the win before falling back to fourth, would have brought in an eye-watering $527,000 if it crossed the line first.

One punter had $200 on race favourite Yucatan — who finished 11th — back when the Irish racehorse was paying $201, yielding a potential win of $40,200.

It all went a little chaotic for online bookmaker Sportsbet, which was experiencing technical difficulties an hour away from the gun. Betfair was also reported to have been struggling under the mass of punting traffic on racing's biggest day.

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TRAGEDY STRIKES THE CUP

The Cliffsofmoher ($17) swept a host of punters out of the mix after the first kilometre, breaking down and falling behind early. The UK-bred horse's condition was left unknown as Cross Counter basked in glory at Flemington.

Tragically, the five-year-old stallion had to be put down after the race, ending a strong career with a 47.1 place percentage.