While researching a completely different topic, I happened across a neat little notice from the January 19, 1972 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, under “Waterford to Cancel Big Perfecta”:
Waterford Park track officials have announced that Big Perfecta betting will be dropped after Friday’s racing program. The Big Perfecta, which entails picking the first and second place finishers in two consecutive races, has been known to produce inflated payoffs for a $2 bet. The record at Waterford is $44,000. General Manager Earl Straight stated the reason Waterford was dropping the Big Perfecta was that he and other officials have been receiving numerous complaints from Waterford’s regular patrons. He said they feel that picking one perfecta is tough enough and that the Big P is too severe a gamble for the average bettor. Straight also announced that there will be one more regular perfecta added to the normal program in place of the Big Perfecta.
Of course, Waterford is now Mountaineer Park. I was way too young to wager on the ponies back in 1972, but those “regular patrons” at Waterford must have been wusses because the Big Perfecta sounds positively challenging! And I checked, it’s covered under Pennsylvania’s current pari-mutuel wagering laws so how about it? It certainly sounds a lot easier than the Super High 5 bet!
Anyone with a little more "experience" want to brag about a legendary Big Perfecta payout?