How Much Did Mattress Mack Win

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Mattress Mack placing more wagers on Astros to win World Series

By David Barron , Houston Chronicle

Updated 11:44 am CDT, Tuesday, October 22, 2019

PHOTOS: Celebrities to watch out for during World Series Game 1

Gallery Furniture Jim McIngvale better know as Mattress Mack, sings Take Me Out To The Ball Game song Monday, March 26, 2018, in Houston. ( Steve Gonzales / Houston Chronicle )

>>>Browse through the photos to see which celebrities you may spot during Game 1 of the World Series between the Astros and Nationals .

PHOTOS: Celebrities to watch out for during World Series Game 1

Gallery Furniture Jim McIngvale better know as Mattress Mack, sings Take Me Out To The Ball Game song Monday, March 26, 2018, in Houston. (

PHOTOS: Celebrities to watch out for during World Series Game 1

Gallery Furniture Jim McIngvale better know as Mattress Mack, sings Take Me Out To The Ball Game song Monday, March 26, 2018, in Houston. ( Steve Gonzales / Houston Chronicle )

>>>Browse through the photos to see which celebrities you may spot during Game 1 of the World Series between the Astros and Nationals .

PHOTOS: Celebrities to watch out for during World Series Game 1

Gallery Furniture Jim McIngvale better know as Mattress Mack, sings Take Me Out To The Ball Game song Monday, March 26, 2018, in Houston. (

As World Series Game 1 approaches, Gallery Furniture owner Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale is wrapping up his “Win it All” Astros-related promotion, and he’s still placing bets on the Astros to cover potential refunds of almost $20 million in mattress sales if the Astros beat the Nationals in the best-of-seven series.

Customers initially could qualify for refunds on a minimum $3,000 purchase of mattresses or related items. On Monday, McIngvale reduced the offer to a 50 percent refund and said he expected that deal to remain in place through the first pitch of Game 1 on Tuesday night.

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McIngvale also was weighing the possibility of more wagers on the Astros to cover his refunds if the Astros prevail. He placed a million-dollar bet on the Astros on Saturday in New Jersey, raising his total wagers on the team to at least $8.5 million.

“I have some (wagers) in Nevada and primarily in New Jersey. They’ve been great for me,” he said. “Mississippi (where he placed a $3.5 million bet on the team) is at capacity.”

McIngvale told an industry publication earlier this year that he would be willing to put about $20 million in mattress sales at risk through the “Win it All” promotion. He said Monday that he was close to that total but did not elaborate.

He stands to bring in more than $15 million on his wagers if the Astros win the World Series, and he also gets to keep all the non-mattress sales that customers made while in the store to take advantage of the mattress promotion.

“This has affected the whole store,” he said. “Our sales for September and October have doubled.”

One bit of good news for customers is that if they do receive a refund on their mattress purchase with an Astros series victory, the refund is not taxable, said attorney Roger Aksamit with the law firm Thompson and Knight.

“Based on (the contract), to the extent anyone qualifies for a partial refund of monies that were charged in connection with an original purchase, the amount of the refund is simply a reduction of the purchase price for the merchandise and a non-taxable refund,” Aksamit said. “Therefore, no tax is due on that amount.”

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Column: ‘Mattress Mack’ could lose $15 million if Astros win World Series. He’s OK with that

Jim McIngvale isn’t much of a gambler. At least that’s what the Houston furniture store owner known as “Mattress Mack” claims when asked about the big wagers he has made.

“I couldn’t pick a big dog out in a room full of Chihuahuas,” he said. “I don’t gamble. I hedge.”

Whatever you want to call it, McIngvale has sports books across Nevada looking the other way when his name comes up.

Two years ago, McIngvale, 68, who earned his nickname by wearing a mattress in local ads, offered a refund on any mattress purchase of at least $3,000 if the Astros won the World Series. He hedged the promotion through insurance policies and multiple six-figure bets on Houston at various sports books.

When the Astros won, McIngvale returned about $13 million in mattresses. But by successfully hedging the bet, he lost only about $1 million — a small price to pay for the exposure he got.

“The word of mouth on the promotion was remarkable in 2017,” McIngvale said. “Everyone knew about it. We developed loyal customers with over 60% buying more furniture.”

Looking to make a similar splash this fall, McIngvale is offering the same deal and is currently on the hook for more than $15 million in mattresses if the Astros win the World Series. There’s only one problem: This time, insurance companies and sports books aren’t offering the same deal when it comes to the hedge.

McIngvale didn’t look to hedge on his promotion until last month, after the Astros had added pitcher Zack Greinke at the trade deadline. They currently have the best record in baseball and are favored to win the World Series at most sports books. The favorable insurance rates and odds he got two years ago when the Dodgers were favored are no longer available.

“I bought a huge insurance policy before where I didn’t have to do much hedging in Nevada,” he said. “I don’t have any insurance this year. The reason is, the Astros have been hot all year and the insurance rates weren’t as good as they were, and then the Astros got Greinke and became the favorites. So I’ve had to hedge in Nevada, but the Astros are more prohibitive favorites, so the price is lower.”

McIngvale had his attorney reach out to Anthony Curtis, a gambler who publishes the popular Las Vegas Advisor newsletter and various books on gambling. Many sports books that had happily taken McIngvale’s action two years ago were now turning him away, so he needed a local to help him out.

“Insurance is gambling, it has to do with odds and that’s how they set prices,” Curtis said. “So Mack didn’t pursue the policy fast enough before they made their big moves. So they gave him a cost that wasn’t as good as he could do by just going to the gambling market.

“The problem is the sports books don’t want to cooperate. I’m flabbergasted by their reticence. They’re worried about their balance sheets. This isn’t a professional gambler with an edge. This is a businessman looking to hedge and they should accept his bet, but they’re not and it stuns me. We can’t make legal bets for him and it’s disappointing.”

Many of the sports books that turned down McIngvale’s money or capped a possible wager in the low five figures wouldn’t go on the record to explain why, but privately they each had a similar reasoning for their decision: They like the Astros to win the World Series, and they like their current position on the wagering and don’t want to lose it all on one massive out-of-town bet.

Houston-area furniture store owner ‘Mattress Mack’ lost $13M betting on the Astros

Houston-area furniture store owner ‘Mattress Mack’ lost $13M betting on the Astros

Houston-area furniture store owner ‘Mattress Mack’ lost $13M betting on the Astros

By Charles Curtis October 31, 2019 9:44 am

By Charles Curtis | October 31, 2019 9:44 am

If you thought losing $11 million on the Houston Astros would bother the man known as “Mattress Mack,” you’d be wrong.

The man who owns Gallery Furniture in the Houston area — his real name is Jim McIngvale — has spent a lot of money betting on the Astros. Not just a few bucks here and there. Through Game 3 of the World Series, it was something like $10 million.

And now that the Stros have lost to the Washington Nationals, we have a total tally. Per The Action Network, if he had won, he would have netted about $25 million.

But the lost was costly:

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, a 68-year-old furniture mogul and philanthropist, told The Action Network he lost “more than $13 million” in bets after the Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros, 6-2, in Game 7 of the World Series. …

McIngvale had spent the past month betting millions on his beloved Astros to win the World Series as a means of hedging a season-long promotion running at his furniture stores that promised to refund all purchases of more than $3,000 if the Astros brought home the title.

Mack has said his liabilities for the promotion are north of $20 million.

It’s quite a way to hedge, and a fun one at that. So in a funny way, he did win because he would have had to refund a bunch of furniture. It’s brilliant.

Charles Curtis

Charles is a writer for For The Win. He once dropped an easy foul ball at Shea Stadium and was booed by 35,000 angry Mets fans (and hasn’t recovered from it).

Mattress Mack loses $1 million betting against the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV

Mattress Mack loses $1 million betting against the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV

NFL News

Mattress Mack loses $1 million betting against the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV

By Mark Lane February 2, 2020 11:51 pm ET

By Mark Lane | February 2, 2020 11:51 pm ET

It isn’t often that Mattress Mack takes an L, but he took one to the tune of $1 million on Sunday evening when the Kansas City Chiefs executed a 31-20 comeback against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium.

James Franklin McIngvale, who operates the Gallery Furniture stores and goes by the furniture themed cognomen, placed a bet on the Niners to win the Super Bowl. Who knows why Mattress Mack went against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs? One would think the way the Chiefs whipped up on the Houston Texans 51-31 in the AFC divisional and the Tennessee Titans 35-24 in the AFC Championship Game that Mattress Mack would have sided Kansas City.

It isn’t the only fortune that Mattress Mack has lost in the last year. As any true Houstonian would, McIngvale bet $13 million on the Houston Astros to win the World Series against the Washington Nationals. Even though the Astros lost the series 4-3, McIngvale said he would do it again.

Of course, part of Mattress Mack’s bets are promotions for Gallery Furniture. If the 49ers would have won, then any customer who bought $3,000 or more Gallery Furniture or Tempur-Pedic mattresses would have received 50$ of their money back or 100% back in in-store credit.

That means it wasn’t just Mattress Mack betting on the Niners. If any of his customers were in the market for a new mattress and they spent thousands, and if San Francisco won, they would get a discount. If the customers were wrong, then they paid full price for their mattresses.

Nonetheless, Texans fans would love to see Mattress Mack place a bet on their NFL team in the Super Bowl someday. No Houston pro football team has won their league championship since the Oilers in 1961 when they defeated the San Diego Chargers 10-3. The Oilers would have made it a three-peat, but the Dallas Texans beat them in double overtime at Jeppesen Stadium. Those Texans turned out to be the Chiefs who beat the 49ers Sunday night.

‘Mattress Mack’ places $3.5 million bet on Astros to win World Series

Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale explains why he started placing large bets on the Houston Astros to win the World Series, starting in 2017. (1:58)

A Houston furniture salesman, attempting to mitigate millions of dollars in potential refunds from a promotion, placed one of the largest bets ever taken by a U.S. bookmaker on Tuesday at a Mississippi sportsbook.

Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture in Houston, bet $3.5 million on the Houston Astros to win the World Series at the DraftKings sportsbook at Scarlet Pearl casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. At +220 odds, the wager would pay a net $7.7 million if the Astros win the World Series.

McIngvale wired the $3.5 million to the Scarlet Pearl on Monday and flew from Houston to Biloxi. He said Tuesday that the betting slip was in his pocket and joked that he’d probably keep it in his wallet, "which is secured by a bunch of rubber bands."

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On Thursday, McIngvale was in New Jersey to place another large wager on the Astros to win it all. He bet $1.5 million at the same +220 odds at the FanDuel Sportsbook at The Meadowlands. The wager would win $3.3 million and is believed to be the largest legal online wager in the state’s brief sports betting history.

McIngvale also recently placed a $200,000 World Series bet on the Astros +250 at the South Point in Las Vegas and has additional wagers for undisclosed amounts with Nevada bookmakers Caesars, MGM, Treasure Island and Circa Sports. He’s shopping around for more, too.

McIngvale’s $3.5 million wager at the Scarlet Pearl is nearly equal to how much was bet on baseball at Mississippi sportsbooks in June, July and August combined.

Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale places his $3.5 million bet at the sportsbook at Scarlet Pearl Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. Courtesy of DraftKings

"I think it’s the biggest [bet] that’s ever happened in Mississippi," DraftKings chief revenue officer and co-founder Matt Kalish said.

Not only is it believed to be the biggest bet ever in Mississippi, it’s also easily one of the largest wagers ever reported in the United States — and McIngvale might not be finished.

McIngvale has been in communication with multiple sportsbooks in New Jersey, inquiring about making large wagers. In early September, bookmaker FanDuel, after discussions with McIngvale, requested approval from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to accept a bet of greater than $5 million on the Astros.

"I’m just amazed how much DraftKings and Scarlet Pearl took, and they didn’t blink an eye," McIngvale said. "That’s pretty rare in the sports betting business in the United States for someone to take three and [a] half million dollars."

For much of the baseball season, McIngvale has been offering to refund mattress-related purchases of $3,000 or more if the Astros win the World Series. He ran a similar promotion in 2017 and refunded more than $10 million in purchases when Houston beat the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the franchise’s first World Series. That year, McIngvale placed more than $1 million in bets on the Astros with Las Vegas bookmakers, helping him limit his exposure from the promotion. This year, with more states offering sports betting, he has expanded options, including Mississippi and New Jersey.

"It’s a whole different game in 2019," McIngvale told ESPN last week, as he was shopping around for the best price and highest limits.

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While a few $1 million bets regularly show up on the Super Bowl, multimillion-dollar wagers — especially on the World Series — are extremely rare:

• In 2002, longtime Las Vegas bookmaker Robert Walker says he took a $4.8 million money-line bet on the St. Louis Rams to beat the New England Patriots straight-up in Super Bowl XXXVI. The Patriots upset the Rams 20-17.

• In 2018, an unnamed bettor at an MGM sportsbook in Las Vegas placed a $3 million money-line bet on the Philadelphia Eagles to beat the Patriots in Super Bowl LII. The Eagles pulled off the upset, and the bettor won a net $4.5 million.

• In 1995, veteran Las Vegas bookmaker Jimmy Vaccaro says he took a $2.4 million money-line wager from prominent investor Carl Icahn on the heavily favored San Francisco 49ers (1-8) to beat the Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX. Icahn won a net $300,000 when the 49ers blew out the Chargers.

The Astros were down to +210 in DraftKings’ odds to win the World Series after taking McIngvale’s bet. The Dodgers are the second favorite at +260.

Before McIngvale’s wager, more money had been bet on the New York Yankees to win the World Series at DraftKings than had been bet on any other team. The Yankees are +425.

"This does change the picture for us a little bit," Kalish said Tuesday. "This will make the Astros the biggest liability."

McIngvale, 68, is a beloved figure in Houston. He opened his furniture store to those in need during flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey and says he always roots for the Astros regardless of his position.

He declined to characterize how big of a liability he has on this year’s promotion.

Gallery Furniture’s liability from the promotion surpassed $15 million this week and was still growing, McIngvale said.

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