Mattress Mack Eyes Largest Payout In U.S. Betting History With Astros’ World Series Title

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Jim McIngvale’s Twitter bio says “If it is to be, it is up to me!”

But the fate of a record-setting wager is out of the hands of the Houston-area furniture store owner and passionate sports fan and gambler. McIngvale, dubbed “Mattress Mack,” stands to collect $35.6 million if the Houston Astros win the 2021 World Series. The payout would be the largest since legal sports betting began in the U.S. in 2018.

McIngvale placed several futures bets with multiple sportsbooks earlier in the baseball season, all of them on the Astros to win the Fall Classic. The wagers, which McIngvale placed in June, totaled $3.25 million, including $2 million via the William Hill sportsbook, which is now owned by Caesars.

According to McIngvale, who threw out the first pitch in Houston before Game 1 of the AL Division Series, he got odds of 10-to-1 from William Hill on the Astros to win the World Series. He also placed a $1 million wager (also at 10-1) with FanDuel. He placed smaller bets at other sportsbooks with 16-to-1 odds.

This isn’t the first time the business owner and inveterate gambler has made big sports bets that drew headlines. In 2019 according to USA Today, he lost more than $13 million betting on the Astros to win the World Series. That year, the team lost to the Nationals in seven games, after Mattress Mack placed bets in Las Vegas on his favorite team.

The high-profile bets are part of McIngvale’s marketing strategy. He runs promotions promising to refund the price of every mattress he sells, which averages about $3,000 per customer, if the Astros win the World Series. The prospect of getting their mattresses “for free” has spiked sales at Gallery Furniture, which has three locations, two in Houston and the other in Richmond, Texas.

Losses Can Be Wins For Mattress Mack

McIngvale estimates incremental mattress sales in 2019 helped offset much of the money he lost in his wagers on the Astros that postseason. This time, according to McIngvale, sales are better than ever.

Last February, McIngvale won $3.16 million when he bet $3.46 million on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to cover the 3.5-point spread in Super Bowl LV. The Bucs beat the Chiefs 31-9 behind quarterback Tom Brady and the Bucs defense. Mattress Mack’s bet was the single largest legal wager placed on the big game, per reporting by USA Today.

In May of 2021, McIngvale ran a promotion to drum up business around the Kentucky Derby. He wagered about $4 million on the Derby, promising mattress rebates if the favorite won the race. But Essential Quality came in fourth, sinking that bet. However, he reportedly had other bets that offset some of those losses. When coupled with the sales increase from the promotion, he came out ahead.

Astros Favored To Beat Braves in World Series

In June, when McIngvale was able to get 10-to-1 and 16-to-1 odds on the Astros, the team was facing difficulties with their pitching rotation. But the performance of ace Lance McCullers Jr. and rookie Luis Garcia stabilized the staff. The Astros won 95 games and captured the AL West division, led by baseball’s highest-scoring offense. Houston has scored at least five runs in nine of their 10 playoff games, soaring to the Fall Classic for the third time in five years.

Sportsbooks have Houston as a favorite between -145 (BetMGM) and -155 (DraftKings), with the Braves getting back odds of +120 to +130.

The Astros hold home-field advantage in the series and will host Games 1 and 2, and if necessary, Games 6 and 7.

About the Author
Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes

Writer and Contributor
Dan Holmes is a writer and contributor for Gaming Today with plenty of experience under his belt. Dan has written three books about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. Currently, Dan is residing in Michigan with his family.

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