Mattress Mack has always been a local celebrity, but his recent Houston Astros bet shattered records, bringing him nationwide fame.
Jim McIngvale, known for decades as “Mattress Mack” after starting his business in mattresses and graduating to American-made furniture stores almost the size of Texas, made headlines on Saturday night.
He won $75 million dollars when the Astros beat the Phillies 4-1. It is the largest win ever in the history of sports betting, paid out by Caesars Digital. McIngvale has always supported the Astros, but he didn’t bet all that dough just to show his love.
For years now, McIngvale has run promotions ahead of a playoff season: Purchase mattresses or furniture from his store, and if the Astros win the Word Series, your furniture is free. In this case, his offer was even grander. He offered “double your money back” on any purchase over $3,000. That means if you replaced all the mattresses in your house at a cost of $10,000, you get to keep those mattresses, plus score an additional $10,000, cash.
McIngvale gambles every time he offers these promotions with the hope that the winnings will offset the promotional cost. This year, he placed his first bet – a $3 million one – in May. Then, mid-summer he upped the ante another $7 million in a series of additional bets. Between what he bet and what he now owes customers, the winnings will cover the costs and surely leave him even better off. Even when he has lost, he’s won, as promotional sales are generally higher than any risk he takes.
Betting on football, college basketball, baseball, and horse racing, McIngvale is no stranger to risk. As he sat in the front row at Saturday’s World Series game, he was no doubt anxious. But as Yordan Alvarez’s three-run homer soared over the wall, and as the Astros were declared the winners of the 2022 World Series, McIngvale jumped for joy. His beloved Astros had won again, and his beloved customers would be very, very happy.