100,000 race fans to join Indy 500 winner in iconic milk toast

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Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda, drinks the ceremonial winner's milk over in victory lane in celebration of winning the IRL IndyCar Series 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway May 25, 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – 100,000 race fans will get the chance to share the world’s largest milk toast with the winner of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 Sunday.

The iconic celebration is one of the traditions that set the Indy 500 apart from other events.

American Dairy Association volunteers will be distributing 100,000 16 oz. pints of Prairie Farms milk to spectators sitting in the grandstand sections along the front stretch. The bottles will be available throughout the race at several locations.

The pints of milk will be specially branded for the 100th running and will also be available at retailers leading up to the race. Fans are encouraged to buy ahead of time to ensure they can celebrate with the winner. Fans watching from home are encouraged to purchase and participate as well.

A 50-cents-off coupon is included in the Indy 500 ticket mailing.

IMS video boards and PA equipment will be used to help notify attendees of the time to raise their bottle of milk with the champion so photos can be taken.

The tradition of drinking milk following an Indy 500 victory began in 1936 with three-time champion Louis Meyer. Meyer regularly drank buttermilk to refresh himself on a hot day and happened to drink some in Victory Lane as a matter of habit after winning the 1936 race. An executive with what was then the Milk Foundation was so elated when he saw the moment captured in a photograph in the sports section of his newspaper the following morning that he vowed to make sure it would be repeated in coming years.

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