Furniture store magnate Jim McIngvale, otherwise known as “Mattress Mack” from Houston, Texas, placed a $3.5 million futures bet on the Houston Astros at +220 odds to win the 2019 World Series at the Scarlet Pearl Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. DraftKings runs the sportsbook at Scarlet Pearl and, if the Astros win, Mattress Mack will bank $7.7 million.
Starting Friday, the Houston Astros will host the winner of the AL wild-card game between the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays. According to William Hill, the Houston Astros are 2/1 odds to win the World Series.
Mattress Mack was in Las Vegas over the weekend trying to put down up to $10 million in wagers on the Astros. During his trip to Vegas, Mattress Mack bet $200,000 on the Astros to win the World Series at the South Point Casino and Sports Book. The South Point gave Mack +250 odds on that wager.
Who Is Mattress Mack?
Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, 68, owns Gallery Furniture in Houston, Texas. Throughout the baseball season, he ran a special “Win It All” promotion in which his customers would be refunded purchases in excess of $3,000 if the Houston Astros win the World Series.
Mattress Mack is a huge Astros fan, however, he’s betting to hedge the Win It All promo. Mack estimated he would need close to $20 million to cover future refunds.
Back in 2017, Mattress Mack ran a similar promotion. The Houston Astros defeated the LA Dodgers in seven games to win the 2017 World Series. Mattress Mack refunded approximately $10 million in furniture.
“These wacky promotions when people get their money back, it’s the greatest publicity I could ever hope for,” Mattress Mack told ESPN.
During Hurricane Harvey, McIngvale opened up his warehouses and showrooms to anyone displaced by the hurricane and flooding. He always had good standing with the community. His generosity in the wake of the hurricane solidified his legend as a true man of the people.
Long-time Astros fan, Chris Rocco, added, “Mattress Mack is a fantastic human being. He and JJ Watt were the heroes of Hurricane Harvey.”
Largest (Legal) Sports Bet Ever?
According to David Purdum at ESPN, McIngvale’s $3.5 million wager at the Scarlet Pearl is nearly equal to how much was bet on baseball at Mississippi sportsbooks in June, July, and August combined.
“It’s the biggest bet that’s ever happened in Mississippi” said DraftKings co-founder, Matt Kalish.
After Mattress Mack placed his wager, DraftKings moved the Astros line to +210.
“This will make the Astros the biggest liability,” confirmed Kalish.
“They didn’t blink an eye. That’s pretty rare in the sports betting business in the Unites States for someone to take $3.5 million,” said Mattress Mack.
Mattress Mack contacted sportsbooks in Atlantic City, New Jersey last month. Furthermore, he needed special approval from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to place a bet over $5 million.
“I have a happy feeling about this,” Mattress Mack said. “I’m a huge Astros fan. And at the end of the day this is about the Astros and about our customers. I’m happy all the way, and hope that the Astros can win 11 more games this year.”
Robert Walker ran the Mirage sports book back in 2002 where he took a seven-figure Super Bowl bet worth nearly $5 million.
The unknown bettor placed $4.8 million on the St. Louis Rams money line to win Super Bowl XXXVI. The New England Patriots were a 14-point underdog, and pulled off a 20-17 upset over the Rams. That stunning victory marked the first Super Bowl title for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.