A Houston furniture salesman placed an interesting bet on the Houston Astros to win the World Series this month.
Jim McIngvale, the owner of Gallery Furniture in Houston known as “Mattress Mack,” placed $3.5 million on the Astros to win the championship at the DraftKings sportsbook at the Scarlet Pearl casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.
McIngvale made the bet in hopes to lessen the blow from any potential losses he might suffer as a result of a mattress promotion he put together for his store. If you spend $3,000 or more on a mattress at McIngvale’s store and the Astros win the World Series, you will get a refund.
According to KHOU-TV, McIngvale offered a similar deal when the Astros won the series over the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017 and was forced to pay out more than $13 million in refunds. This year, insurance companies weren’t giving McIngvale an acceptable rate to cover this year’s promotion.
“After the [Zack Greinke trade], the Astros got real popular, so the insurance price went up,” McIngvale told KHOU-TV. “So, we just hope a lot of customers come in and buy these mattresses because the best thing we can do is give away lots of mattresses to our customers if they win it all.”
He told ESPN that Gallery Furniture’s liability from the mattress promotion reached more than $15 million this week.
McIngvale wired the money to the casino on Monday and flew from Houston to Biloxi to place the bet, according to ESPN. The Astros were at +220 odds to win the World Series, which means the wager would pay McIngvale $7.7 million.
“It’s the biggest bet in Mississippi history and one of the top few ever in the country. It stands out as unique. If we’re not taking these bets, then who is?” DraftKings co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer Matt Kalish told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “That’s what we do. When people are looking to make big bets in sports, we want to make sure we deliver.”
McIngvale also placed a $200,000 bet on the Astros to win the World Series at South Point in Las Vegas at +250 odds and several other undisclosed bets at Caesars, MGM, Treasure Island and Circa Sports, according to ESPN.
“I'm just amazed how much DraftKings and Scarlet Peal took, and they didn't blink an eye,” McIngvale told ESPN. “That's pretty rare in the sports betting business in the United States for someone to take three and [a] half million dollars.”
The Houston Astros had the best record in baseball this season with 107 wins and 55 losses. The team awaits the winner of the American League Wild Card game between the Oakland Athletics and the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Astros’ first American League Division Series will begin Friday.