How to set up your tote

This page contains lots of useful information on how to set up, prepare, and manage your Tote. We've put it all on one page, so you can just scroll down to the paragraph you want.  

How to set up your tote

You will need to provide the following items:
  • Table & chairs (enough to seat all your tote sellers together)
  • Pens for each person (plus a couple of spares)
  • A desk light/table lamp to work under (not too glaring)
  • A calculator (in case you can't do sums!)
  • Elastic bands (for keeping the race tickets in sets)
  • Some scrap / note paper
  • A waste basket
  • A cash tin (preferably lockable)
  • Bulldog clips (to stop your folding money blowing away)
  • A copy of your race card for each tote seller
  • A Tote Tabulator sheet for your race night (We'll send you this)
  • A list of the DVD serial numbers being used for your event
So now, being fully equipped, you just have to know a few things:
  1. Make life easy for yourself. Sell all the tote tickets for the same price. Use whole pounds (£1, £2 ) Don't mess about with pennies. Don't worry about any sponsorships or special races at this stage.
  2. Make sure you have at least £100 worth of float (50p, £1, £2 coins) when you start because nobody ever has enough change!
  3. Use a sturdy cash container or (better still) a lockable cash box.
  4. Keep the cash box and all unused TOTE tickets secure and away from the punters until you are ready to use them.
  5. There may be 8 or 9 races in your event. Each race has its own set of tote ticket books. Lay your ticket books out clearly in race order so you don't confuse them. Using the wrong set of tote ticket books is a recipe for disaster.
  6. Each set of TOTE tickets is numbered for each runner (1 - 8). There are always 8 runners. Note that each runner ticket is numbered. This is very important.
  7. Each DVD has a serial number. You will be given a list of the serial numbers being used for your race event. The serial number is a code which tells you the winner. When the DVD is selected the Compere will announce the serial number, so you can start to calculate your payout straight away whilst the race is being run.

How to prepare your tote tabulator sheets.

Only have ONE person working on the Tote Tabulator sheets for the whole of the event. That person should be able to enter results clearly and reliably and be quite good at quick mental arithmetic. You can have a second person check the results if you want.

Before you start your race event, you need to prepare your TABULATOR sheets. Do this in advance or your Tote tabulations will take too long during the races and you will get hold-ups. Here's what to do:
  1. Take the set of TOTE tickets for Race 1. Spread them in front of you on the tote table and make sure you have them in the correct runner order 1 to 8.
  2. Note that the top ticket of each book has a serial number on it. This is your STARTING number. Do NOT remove any tickets.
  3. Take up your Tabulator sheet and refer to the section headed 'Race 1'. You will see spaces for writing in the STARTING numbers for each runner. Write these in the appropriate space on the Tabulator sheet. Make sure you do this in the correct order, and that you write clearly and legibly. Always check your entries.
  4. Put the race tickets aside again in their correct order for use later. Bind them together with elastic bands. Don't mix them up with other races.
  5. Repeat this process carefully for all of the races on your programme. Make sure that you enter the correct starting number for each runner in each race in the correct box on the Tab sheet.
  6. Make sure your Race tickets are stacked in Race / Runner order for ease of use later.
Your Tote Tabulator sheets are now ready to use. You enter the results as the races are run. Keep your Tote sheets in front of the person responsible for them.


How to calculate your tote for each race.

You have already prepared your Tabulator sheets with the starting number for each runner. That's half the work done already. When you have finished selling the Tote tickets in each race, and the Tote is CLOSED, the Compere will go through the procedure of having an audience member pick out the next race DVD at random. Whilst this is going on, here's  what you are doing:
  1. Make sure there is only one person entering the results and adding up the Tabulator sheet. Have another person read off the finishing numbers on each tote ticket and to check the figures if you want.
  2. Take the serial number that you can see on the top unsold ticket for each runner. This is your finishing number. (Do NOT count the ticket underneath. Always take the top number that you can see).
  3. Write the finishing ticket number for each runner on to the Tab sheet in the corresponding box next to where you put the starting number.
  4. Doing the tote calculations is easy. If you aren't good at mental arithmetic, have the calculator handy. Simply deduct the starting number from the finishing number. This is the total number of tickets you have sold for each runner. Write this number in the corresponding 'Sold' box.
  5. Add up all the tickets sold for all 8 runners. This gives you the total number of tickets sold for that race, and tells you the total amount of money staked on the tote. (This is why selling for a round figure is handy)
  6. If you need to take a percentage from the amount staked to cover your costs and profit for the event, and also to cover for any rounding up of winnings, you need to deduct it NOW from the total amount staked to give you a winners' pot. The winners' pot is the amount you will share between the winning ticket holders.
  7. When the race DVD is selected the Compere will announce the DVD serial number. This is the code that tells you the winning number for that race. Put a circle round that winning number on the tab sheet (in case of query later) and you can immediately see how many winning tickets have been sold. Whilst the race is being run, you just divide the winner's pot by the number of winning tickets sold to get the payout.
  8. Always try to round the winnings up or down to the nearest pound. It saves you having to mess about with odd bits of change. If it's a good win try rounding down. If it's not a good amount you may need to round up. Keep an eye on it and it should balance out over the course of the event.
  9. You then tell the compere how many winners there are and what the payout is.
  10. Unless you have made a massive error, the payout pot should never be more than the total amount staked.

How do I pay out?

  1. Nominate one person to have the winnings stacked in the right amounts ready for collection by the winners. The number of amounts should be the same as the number of winners.
  2. When the race is over the Compere will announce the number of winners and the payout, and invite the winning ticket holders to collect their prize or winnings.
  3. Winners MUST produce their winning tickets to receive their winnings. No ticket = No Prize. Make sure you check every ticket to ensure that it is for the correct race. Sad to say, but some people do try it on, you know!
  4. If you run out of winnings, and people are still coming up with winning tickets you've either made a mistake in your calculations, or you've paid out on a dodgy ticket. You really have no way to put it right as you have to pay out on all legitimate tickets, and you may need to dip into your profits to do it. Don't keep your players waiting. Pay them out if it's a winning ticket and sort it out later.
  5. The person handing over the winnings should check the correct number of winning tickets have been returned and then tear them in half and put them in the waste bin. This takes them out of circulation and prevents anyone producing a winning ticket later. Sad to say (again) but some people try this on as well, you know!
  6. If you have taken a hit on a couple of races, or made a mistake on the payout (and it is possible) don't despair. You can always adjust the payout amount to compensate and you should get your money back.

What happens if winnings are not collected?

  1. Sometimes people don't claim their winnings straight away. Don't panic - just advise the compere and he/she will make regular announcements to remind people to collect their unclaimed winnings. Set them aside with a note of the race / winner number. Don't forget if the winnings are claimed later to tear up the winning ticket and put it in the bin!
  2. At the end of the event, the compere will make a final announcement for people to collect any unclaimed winnings. If they are still not claimed the winnings are retained.