Punters splashed plenty of cash on Australian racing's most famous day and the pay-off was huge for a lucky few.
Aussie horse Vow And Declare stormed home to win the Melbourne Cup by the nose before the drama really kicked off.
A stewards inquiry saw the second past the post Master Of Reality dropped to fourth with Prince Of Arran and Il Paradiso promoted to second and third respectively.
But it appeared the biggest loser of the day may have actually been the O'Brien family, losing $55,000 on the back of the result.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien trained Il Paradiso with his son Joseph training Master Of Reality under the same umbrella.
It saw Il Paradiso jockey Wayne Lordan not want to protest but the stewards launched the inquiry despite no official complaint.
The decision to demote Master Of Reality cost the O'Brien stable a handy sum as the combined prizemoney for the horses dropped from $1.45m to $900,000 and the trainer's 10 per cent from $145,000 to $90,000 for its top two finishers.
Punters.com.au reported the winners get $4.4m to split, with second $1.1m, third $550k and fourth $350k and so on down to 12th.
While it's not a bad day's work, it's a big drop after Lordan didn't even lodge the protest.
Then again, with seven horses in the race between Aidan and Joseph, the O'Brien's were always a big chance to bring home some cash.
But one punter was beyond thrilled as he pocketed a ludicrous payout of $793,000 — minutes after he thought he was walking away with nothing.
The punter had $10 on a straight first four but it appeared he had the order wrong with Vow And Declare in first, while it was a photo finish for Master Of Reality and Prince Of Arron, with Il Paradiso squeezed out in fourth.
But the stewards challenge made the punter very happy as Master Of Reality went to fourth, with the other two horses moving up to match his original finishing order.
"Safe to say our punter would've been incredibly happy with Frankie Dettori's aggressive ride, this is the modern day rags to riches story,'' Sportsbet.com.au's Rich Hummerston said.
BIGGEST CUP WINS
There was one particular genius who will be shouting the beers this afternoon after he looked into his crystal ball.
The prophetic punter dished out $500 on Vow And Declare — after he picked the winner in the Tattersall's Cup on October 26. At the time, the Cup winner was at $101 odds, pocketing the punter a cool $50,500.
Two other big spenders had Vow And Declare at $14.50 odds, with a $20,000 bet and $17,000 bet taking home $290,000 and $246,500.
But how about turning $20 in to $90,000? One punter completed his massive multi — correctly picking Richmond to win the AFL, the Sydney Roosters to win the NRL and waiting a month for Vow And Declare to close out the result at $4522.50 odds.
A TAB punter also claimed the biscuits with a $20 bet that nabbed $56,497.40 after picking the first four with Vow And Declare, Prince Of Arran, Il Paradiso and Master Of Reality.
The punter was unaffected by the protest — unlike many trifecta punters who were sweating on the result.
Punters who picked Vow And Declare, Prince Of Arran and Master Of Reality were cheering as it looked like they were about to win big on the $5207.40 odds before it evaporated in the stewards inquiry.
Those holding out hope for the Vow And Declare, Prince Of Arran, Il Paradiso came out on top, pocketing a still impressive $3097.20 result.
The rest of the world was either celebrating or lamenting the protest result.
Some weren't so lucky with the protest.
A TAB punter had $8000 on the win and $7000 on the place for Master Of Reality at fixed odds of $26 and $7.25.
While he was second past the post, his potential $50,000 payout soon disappeared.
Many bookies offered a "protest payout" TAB didn't and the punter would have felt like Master of Reality jockey Frankie Dettori who said "I want to cry" after the race.
The Kiwis have crushed many Aussie punters this year, losing the cricket World Cup in the most heartbreaking finishes, the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup flop and now The Chosen One has left plenty of punters with empty pockets.
The horse shortened from as far as $101 to $34. One punter saw $25,000 of hard-earned cash disappear in an instant after putting it on The Chosen One at $41, with the Kiwi horse finishing in 17th.