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How Mattress Mack Crossed Texas State Lines to Win $75 Million Sports Betting

Written by: Mike Lukas
Updated February 21, 2023
7 min read
  • Texas Businessman “Mattress Mack” Placed $10M in Bets on Astros to Win Series

  • Sports Betting is Illegal in Texas, Mack Forced to Cross State Lines to Place His Bets

  • TX State Legislature Could Debate Sports Betting, Convenes on January 10, 2023

Mattress Mack Texas 75 Million Sports Betting

Texas Businessman “Mattress Mack” Placed $10M in Bets on Astros to Win Series

There is nothing illegal about crossing state lines to place a legal sports bet but it sure seems odd when states like Texas force their resident bettors to gamble elsewhere, though avid sports punters like Houston businessman “Mattress Mack” are willing to do whatever it takes to play.

In fact, recently Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, the Houston-based furniture mogul who owns Gallery Furniture, crossed Texas state lines to get in on the World Series action by betting $10 million using various legal sportsbooks on his underdog Houston Astros to win it all.

McIngvale’s odds were +750 so when the Astros ended up defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in six games, Mattress Mack received a total payout of $750 million, now the highest total in sports betting history:


It gives the underdog Astros World Series win an extra magical flare since that type of payout is every sports bettor's dream come true, though McIngvale told the media he already has specific plans on how he will spend that money:

“It’s gonna be pretty much a wash of giving the customers their money back, which is what we really want to do because then word-of-mouth advertising lasts for 20 or 30 years.”

The Mattress Mack story is fun, but it also highlights a struggle facing millions of other sports bettors who live without access to legal sportsbooks.

Sports Betting is Illegal in Texas, Mack Forced to Cross State Lines to Place His Bets

There are millions of sports gamblers who live in the dozen-plus states besides Texas where sports betting is still illegal, those areas of the U.S. being either slow to adapt to the market or else morally opposed to the idea of legalizing gambling for their residents.

Of course, it doesn’t stop anyone from making their bets – they are just forced like Mattress Mack was to go elsewhere to place their wagers, either by physically traveling across state lines or by using unregulated offshore sportsbooks, risky ways to have fun making sports bets.

McIngvale told Forbes that he “made one $3 million wager in May parked in front of a Subway sandwich shop after driving just across the Texas border to Louisiana,” a clear signal to lawmakers that they should legalize the activity and benefit from the tax revenue it generates.

They will have a chance to do just that in January.

TX State Legislature Could Debate Sports Betting, Convenes on January 10, 2023

The Texas state legislature reconvenes on January 10, 2023, and chances are lawmakers will reopen discussions and debates regarding legalizing sports betting for what could be the largest market in the U.S. at least until California comes to its fiscal senses and does the same.

Sports betting adds a new level of excitement to an already thrilling activity, and millions of pro and college sports fans like Mattress Mack are already partaking in this multi-billion dollar industry, though McIngvale would probably prefer not to have to travel to make his bets.

“My real interest is making sure the customers win because the customers will be happy and thrilled and smiling.”

Now the philanthropic furniture mogul has 750 million more ways to help make that happen.

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Mike Lukas

1204 Articles

Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]

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