Got a winning Belmont ticket? Hang on to it!

Why American Pharoah wins without the triple crown
Why American Pharoah wins without the triple crown

American Pharoah is the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years, but if you've got a winning ticket the best thing to do is hang onto it instead of cashing it in.

A winning ticket might pay just a few bucks at the window, but it could soon be worth as much as $100 as a collectors item, according to Stephen Costello, executive vice president of Steiner Sports, a sports memorabilia seller.

Tickets were already trading on eBay (EBAY) for more than their face value before American Pharoah took the Triple Crown. One winning ticket that paid $2 has been bid up to $21.50. And those prices are likely to keep climbing.

The same thing happened last year with tickets for California Chrome, who was also trying for the Triple Crown. But California Chrome came up short and those tickets were pretty much worthless.

Related: Big money at the Belmont Stakes

A winning $2 ticket from Affirmed, the last horse to win the Triple Crown in 1978, is worth between $200 to $300 today, said Costello. But there's a limited supply of those tickets on the market, since few people were thinking of the future memorabilia value of the tickets at that time of that race.

"I think if you had that ticket, you most likely cashed it," he said.

If there is a greater supply of the winning tickets on the memorabilia market after this year's race, it will limit the price they'll fetch. But Costello thinks the market will probably hold up.

Related: American Pharoah's jockey earns peanuts compared to other sports

"It's an historic event," he said. "And there just seems to be a love affair between fans and this horse and the jockey and the trainer."

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