It takes a little over three minutes to be run and won and a lifetime of change for those lucky enough to enjoy the spoils.
It's the Melbourne Cup and winning jockey Wayne Harris knows all about its long-lasting effects.
Said Harris: "I was fortunate enough to have won it and it opens a lot of doors for you. You become a hero forever. Melbourne Cup day is only once a year, but it's a lifetime experience."
It's why kids clamour to have their photo taken with Jeune's pilot in 1994 and the "Loving Cup".
Why those privileged enough to hold it must do their best Michael Jackson impersonation and brandish a white glove.
Why at least one security guard keeps watch over the 18-carat gold trophy, valued at $175,000, at all times.
And why rural outposts put on gala dinners to welcome, well, a trophy to town.
"To get your hands on it is a marvellous thing," said Harris, now a Wollongong local who helped celebrate the Melbourne Cup tour's stopover in the city yesterday.
"It's got an aura about it and that day around it. There is so much that goes into it and looking here at the people today that can be a part of it - it's just a magical thing."
It's almost enough to coax old jockeys who have long stashed away their silks to come out of retirement.
Greg Hall, whose banner day came two years before Harris when he steered Subzero to victory at Flemington, said the magic of the Melbourne Cup never waned.