Mattress Mack Wins Record $75 Million Sports Betting Payout After Astros Win World SeriesCarlie Porterfield
Texas furniture kingpin Jim McIngvale—better known as “Mattress Mack”—won $75 million on Saturday after his bet that the Houston Astros would win the World Series paid off, taking home what is believed to be the largest payout in legal sports betting history.
McIngvale, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch to start Saturday’s series-ending game, bet $10 million in May that the Astros would win the World Series, in a handful of wagers with an average of 7.5-1 odds.
When the Astros defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 on Saturday, winning the World Series in six games, footage posted on social media showed 71-year-old McIngvale celebrating from his front-row seat in the stands.
It appears McIngvale hasn’t cashed the money out yet–when asked at the game what he planned to do after winning $75 million, he said he’d be back to work the next morning at 9 a.m., though he joked about heading straight to Las Vegas.
Because sports betting is illegal in Texas, McIngvale had to cross state lines to place bets. 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, he told Forbes.
This bet on the Astros is the latest in a series of high-dollar wagers McIngvale has made over the years, often using the bets as a hedge against promotions at his three Houston-area furniture stores. In October, McIngvale told Forbes he had sold $73 million worth of mattresses with a promotion that allowed any customer who spent $3,000 or more on a mattress to receive it for free if the Astros win. In May, June and July, he even offered customers double their money back. Earlier this year, McIngvale lost $9.5 million betting that the Cincinnati Bengals would win the Super Bowl, but he still sold $20 million worth of furniture thanks to a similar promotion that promised to refund purchases if the Bengals won.
For decades, “Mattress Mack” has been well-known in the Houston area for appearing in often silly commercials for McIngvale’s stores, Gallery Furniture. He’s also active in local philanthropy, and in 2017 received widespread praise after opening up his stores as a shelter during Hurricane Harvey.