Houston Businessman Bets $3.5 Million on Astros to Win World Series
Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, the owner of Gallery Furniture in Houston, wagered a staggering $3.5 million on his hometown Astros to win the World Series.
The eye-popping bet came at the DraftKings sportsbook at the Scarlet Pearl casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. McIngvale was given +220 odds on the Astros winning their second MLB title in the last three years.
McIngvale wired the money to the casino on Monday, then flew to Mississippi on Tuesday to confirm the bet and collect his betting ticket. If “Mattress Mack” wins the bet, he’ll pocket $7.7 million in winnings.
After he confirmed the bet at the Scarlet Pearl, McIngvale joked with the media that the betting slip was going into his wallet “which is secured by a bunch of rubber bands.”
McIngvale recently made several bets in Las Vegas including a $200,000 wager on the Astros at +250 at the South Point. He also placed action of undisclosed amounts on the Astros at several other casinos including Caesars, MGM, Treasure Island, and Circa Sports.
The businessman also indicated while in Biloxi that he was planning on making more wagers on an Astros World Series win.
The $3.5 million bet was close to the complete betting handle that Mississippi sportsbooks took in June, July and August combined on baseball wagers.
DraftKings CRO and co-founder Matt Kalish told the media, “I think it’s the biggest (wager) that’s ever happened in Mississippi.”
Why is “Mattress Mack” Making These Large Bets Across America?
McIngvale is making the bets to mitigate the possible losses from a promotion that his furniture stores are making in Houston. If the Astros win the World Series, then customers making purchases in his stores of $3,000 or more receive a complete refund.
As it stands today, McIngvale has an exposure of close to $15 million in total sales that will be refunded if the Astros take the MLB crown.
The promotion does not end until the playoffs begin so the final total is expected to rise.
“I know these wacky promotions like this one when people get their money back, it’s the greatest publicity I could ever hope for,” McIngvale said.
McIngvale recently shopped across the country to find the best odds for the Astros to win the World Series. He found two Las Vegas gamblers to assist in the endeavor and one of them, Anthony Curtis told ESPN that the furniture salesman was looking to wager around $10 million total.
“I’m just amazed how much DraftKings and Scarlet Pearl took, and they didn’t blink an eye,” McIngvale said. “That’s pretty rare in the sports betting business in the United States for someone to take three and (a) half million dollars.”
McIngvale turned heads in early September when word leaked that he was negotiating with several casinos in New Jersey on placing a mid-seven figure bet. The Garden State has a law that prohibits bets larger than $5 million without approval.
One of the top sportsbooks in New Jersey, FanDuel, made an approval request with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
McIngvale is expected to continue to place bets to meet his $10 million threshold and may have another sizable bet in mind that rivals the one he placed in Mississippi.