Updated October 25, 2021 - 5:02 pm
Jim McIngvale is four Astros wins away from collecting the largest payout in legal sports betting history.
The Houston furniture store owner known as “Mattress Mack” has a total of $3.35 million riding at four different sportsbooks to win $35.6 million on the Astros to win the World Series.
With Atlanta a +120 underdog to Houston (-140), Mack could easily hedge his bets to ensure a profit. For example, he could wager $5 million to win $6 million on the Braves to lock in winnings of either $2.65 million if Atlanta wins or $30.6 million if the Astros prevail.
But the Texas native said he would never bet against his hometown team.
“That would be like betting against one of my own children,” said McIngvale, 70. “I will never in my life bet against the Houston Astros. If I have one good quality, it’s loyalty. And I’m loyal to the Houston Astros.”
Mack placed the bets in June: $2 million to make $20 million (10-1) at Caesars Sportsbook; $1 million to make $10 million (10-1) at FanDuel Sportsbook; $250,000 to make $4 million (16-1) at DraftKings Sportsbook; and $100,000 to make $1.6 million (16-1) at The Score sportsbook.
After the Astros won the American League pennant Friday over the Boston Red Sox, Mack inquired about cash-out options at FanDuel and Caesars.
“FanDuel told me they’d cash it out for $5.5 million. Caesars said they don’t do cash-outs,” he said. “I would never cash out because I’m a Houston Astros believer. But I just wanted to see what it was.”
Between the hedges
Mack’s wagers on the Astros are hedge bets themselves to offset potential losses of about $25 million and counting from a promotion that offers his Gallery Furniture customers a refund of any purchase of $3,000 or more if Houston wins the World Series.
“Saturday was the biggest day in the history of this store and Sunday outdid Saturday by $600,000,” Mack told the Review-Journal on Monday. “We sold thousands of mattresses. Over the weekend, we probably did $10 million in sales.
“I had people who have been in the furniture business for 40 years and their mouths just dropped. They couldn’t believe all the people in here. It was unbelievable.”
Mack said his wife, Linda McIngvale, has had enough of the frenzy.
“She’s up there nervously adding up all the tickets and telling me to stop the promotion,” he said. “I said I’m going on until the end of the day and more than likely, it will stop (Monday night). Unless I do something crazy in the middle of the night and decide to extend it.
“The problem is we’ve got so many deliveries, we can’t hardly make them all.”
Besides Caesars, every Las Vegas sportsbook will win money on the Astros.
“We got lucky that the Giants and Dodgers both got knocked out,” MGM Resorts director of trading Jeff Stoneback said. “Fortunately, we didn’t take any Mattress Mack money. So we’re good with the Astros.”
If Caesars does end up paying out $20 million to McIngvale, vice president of trading Craig Mucklow said he’s glad it will be to a philanthopist who has opened his stores several times as a shelter for flood and hurricane victims.
“The guy has got great karma. He’s done a lot for that community,” Mucklow said. “If somebody is going to win, you can’t complain about it being him. He’s stellar.”
If the Astros claim their second World Series title in five years and Mack wins $35.6 million, he said he’ll host several parties to give customers their money back.
“Giving away the money, that would be a lot of fun,” he said. “Especially since it will be fully funded by my friends at Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel and Score, should it all happen.”