Waerner cashes in $51,607 for 2020 Iditarod victory

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A purse totaling $501,120 for the 2020 Iditarod has been divvied up among the finishers race officials said Tuesday, and $51,607 will go to champion Thomas Waerner, who won this year's race in 9 days, 10 hours, 37 minutes and 47 seconds.

Waerner’s haul is a slight uptick from that of Bethel's Pete Kaiser in 2019. Kaiser raked in $51,299 that year.

In the last ten years, four-time winner Dallas Seavey’s $75,000 earnings in 2016 alone stands as the highest amount paid out for recent races. From 2010 to 2014, prize money for the Iditarod champion held steady at $50,400, before rising to $70,000 in 2015 and staying in that ballpark until 2018 when it dropped back down to $50,612.

Iditarod Champions earnings since 2010
2010 – $50,400 (Lance Mackey)
2011 – $50,400 (John Baker)
2012 – $50,400 (Dallas Seavey)
2013 – $50,400 (Mitch Seavey)
2014 – $50,400 (Dallas Seavey)
2015 – $70,000 (Dallas Seavey)
2016 – $75,000 (Dallas Seavey)
2017 – $71,250 (Mitch Seavey)
2018 – $50,612 (Joar Leifseth Ulsom)
2019 – $51,299 (Pete Kaiser)
2020 – $51,607 (Thomas Waerner)

The race has struggled recently to keep longtime sponsors, losing Alaska Airlines and Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram this season — the latter having been a sponsor of the race for 30 years.

In a press release, the Iditarod Trail Committee announced the official breakdown of the race purse by finishing position, and said it was determined by the number of total finishers — 34 for the 2020 race. ITC officials said it’s customary for $1,049 payments for places 21 and up.

2020 Iditarod top-ten finisher earnings breakdown
1st – $51,607
2nd – $43,463
3rd – $40,113
4th – $36,163
5th – $33,263
6th – $28,413
7th – $26,813
8th – $25,263
9th – $23,763
10th – $22,313

Total for top 20 finishers of Iditarod XLVIII: $485,314
Trifecta prize money: $1,120
Total for places 21 through 34 ($1,049 per finisher): $14,686
Total purse for Iditarod XLVIII: $501,120

Copyright 2020 KTUU. All rights reserved.