Every bettor likes to brag about his winning wagers, the same way every fisherman likes to brag about a catch or golfer likes to brag about a birdie. But few bettors have the luxury to brag like legendary Houston bedding king Mattress Mack. Mack has placed some of the first bets in sports betting and many of the largest.
Mack, aka Jim McIngvale, is the 71-year-old founder of Gallery Furniture, which he started back in 1981 and grew into a nationwide chain. He now has a net worth of more than $300 million.
But the reason Mack has become famous isn’t so much for his recliners, love seats and sectionals, but for his massive sports wagers, occasionally as a hedge against a massive sale in his furniture stores.
Of course, Mack can’t bet in his home state. Texas sports betting is not legal and it is not a sure bet that the state legislature will move to make it law in 2023.
History of Massive Bets
With Mattress Mack in the news recently during the World Series (see below), BetTexas.com thought we should look at his history of highly publicized wagers.
In 2019, McIngvale placed a $13 million bet on the Astros to win the World Series at the Scarlet Pearl casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. At the same time, he ran a “Win it All” mattress refund deal if the Astros took the title. When the Astros lost, he was out the money on the bet, but gained a priceless amount of free advertising. Had the Astros won, Mack would have won millions on the bet and given away millions in products at his stores – anyone who’d purchased $3,000+ in Gallery Furniture was to receive a full refund.
In 2020, Mack picked the Astros again to win the World Series, this time with a publicized bet of $10,000 and other wagers and lost again.
He lost millions wagering on the Chiefs to lose every round of the AFC playoffs but then bet on Tom Brady and the Bucs to beat the Chiefs to win the 2021 Super Bowl and turned $3.46 million into $6.18 million. Hope box springs eternal.
In 2022 March Madness, Mack put $1 million down on the East Regional winner taking home the title with $1 million wager. The East had Texas and Baylor, the #1 seed, and Mack loves his Texas teams. When both got beaten, he put his millions on the Kansas Jayhawks. Bill Self’s group beat North Carolina to win it all, and Mack netted around $4 million.
Over the years Mack has lost big on college football, horse racing, pro football and baseball, but he has the money to lose and every wager promotes his business. This fall, however, his big money wagering paid off. He turned a $10 million bet on the Houston Astros to win the World Series into $75 million.
With that kind of win, any bettor would sleep well, no matter the mattress.
BetTexas.com will keep you posted with stories of interest on sports betting and any news regarding the state considering law to make it legal. Earlier this year, BetTexas.com reported on the Texas Betting Alliance, which is trying to lay the groundwork to get legislation moving next year.