In what proved a big win for many, Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, the charismatic owner of Gallery Furniture franchises in Houston correctly tabbed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl win (+3.5) and walked away with $3.15 million dollars on his $3.46 million wager. One of the largest single bet collections ever taken down.
The major motivator for McIngvale’s large wagers is due in part because he cannot obtain enough insurance to cover the well-known promotions that Gallery Furniture is known for. He felt the nationally, if not international Super Bowl publicity the wager received was more than worth the risk.
This year the promotion featured an extremely attractive rebate on any mattress purchase of $3,000 or more if the Bucs WON the Super Bowl. In turn, quite a reward for both sides when the Bucs beat the Kansas City Chiefs outright in the Super Bowl 31-9.
In retrospect, Mattress Mack, given the point spread, could have won both ways, if the Chiefs won by fewer than four points, he would have kept his mattress money, and he would carry away the $3.15 million from DraftKings Sportsbook.
As for his handicapping decision to bet on the Bucs, McIngvale offered up this in a statement prior to the big game:
Tampa Bay is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and led by the greatest football player of all time in Tom Brady, so I’m betting big on the Bucs who have overcome tough matchups throughout the postseason.
McIngvale was invited to fly to Colorado to place the seven-figure wager he made on his mobile phone via the DraftKings Sportsbook sports betting app. He accomplished it from the Colorado Springs, CO airport since Texas has not legalized sports wagering yet. It also made for one of the publicity photos McIngvale used to help his company.
At that juncture, the Buccaneers were three-point (+3) underdogs at most sportsbooks including DraftKings Sportsbook, but McIngvale paid up for “the hook,” or the extra half-point to increase the wagering spread to 3.5 points. That avoided any potential “push” or wagering tie. Also, the Buccaneers would only need to keep the game within a field goal, three-point margin for a winning bet. A wagering strategy that is not often endorsed upon by professional sports bettors cost a risky -127 vigorish.
McIngvale was predictably elated and was interviewed after the game, offering up these comments:
I think it’s great. Obviously, Tampa Bay played terrifically. The happiest thing for me is so many customers were thrilled watching that game with their families. They’re getting a free mattress and they made the right choice buying from us during this promotion. Our customers believe in us and put their faith and trust in us. It doesn’t get much better than that. It’s a very happy night for me.
McIngvale gained attention back in 2017 after wagering $11 million on his local 2019 Astros-Dodgers World Series as part of a Gallery Furniture store promotion. Like last Sunday, he won, and the customers shared the success. He co-authored a book in 2002 titled, “Always Think Big,” and is also well-known around the Houston community for his philanthropic endeavors.
However, in 2019 he lost $13 million on his insurance by wagering the Houston Astros would win that World Series. In that year, the Washington Nationals beat the Astros, but he did not have to pay back his customers.
With March Madness and the big NCAA Basketball Tournament coming up shortly, we wonder who also might be watching this highly publicized wagering strategy?
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Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.
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