The Legend of Mattress Mack
Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale is four Houston Astros wins away from a $75 million payout – this would be the largest recorded win in the history of sports betting.
For those unfamiliar with Mack, he is widely known in the sports world as one of the most aggressive sports bettors out there, placing multi-million dollar bets on the daily. He is also a diehard Houston Astros fan (the host of many of his bets), and owner/operator of Gallery Furniture in Houston, hence the name “Mattress Mack.” But Mack does a lot more than just sell furniture.
Mack regularly holds promotions at his store related to these large scale bets that help to mitigate potential losses. For example, if a customer spends a certain amount at the store, and his Astros bet wins, customers will get all the furniture from their qualifying purchase, for free. Essentially, he’s found a way to bet millions on sports while rarely losing money generating brand loyalty. The promotional sales are hedges for his bets that promises a customer their money back if the team he bets on wins, which drives sales to cover the cost of his bet. If his bet loses, well, he’s sold out his inventory, so he’s still making a profit.
His reputation grew massive popularity back during the Astros’ historic 2017 World Series run when Mack held a promotion in which anyone who bought a mattress from Gallery Furniture would get it for free if the Astros won it all. He refunded more than $10 million in mattress purchases that year.
Our Astros have beaten New York & are heading to the championship series, INCREDIBLE!! Thank you to the organization for being an inspiration to our city & to all Houstonians for coming together to support this team! God bless you all & GO STROS!!@Astros @gallerysports #LevelUp pic.twitter.com/faJh5c4WAa
— @MattressMack (@MattressMack) October 24, 2022
Mack Strikes Again
Now, five years later, the Astros are back in the World Series, with a chance to refund even more Gallery Furniture customers. They have been to the postseason every year since then, which includes two losses in the World Series, and Mack has bet on every one of them (and then some).
He’s placed $10 million worth of bets on the Astros to win this year’s World Series, with odds ranging from 10-to-1 to 5-to-1. With average odds at around 7.5-to-1, he’s looking at an approximate $75 million payout. The tethered promotion, which was only available until the end of the regular season read, “when you purchase a Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster or Sealy mattress sleep set priced at $3,000 or more, and if the Houston Astros win it all in the 2022 final championship series, your purchase is FREE!”
It was decided on Oct. 23 that the Astros would be facing the Philadelphia Phillies in this year’s World Series. The Astros are currently -185 moneyline favorites ahead of the start of the series. Game one gets underway on Oct. 28 in Houston.
THE HOUSTON ASTROS ARE HEADED TO THE WORLD SERIES! pic.twitter.com/Cr7Gw5wies
— Houston Astros (@astros) October 24, 2022
Texas Sports Betting Climate
Despite Mack’s loyalty to the Texas-base Astros and his residence in Houston, ironically, sports betting in Texas is not yet legal. Mack has traveled all over the country placing bets in legal states, most notably Louisiana, which is close in proximity to Houston, which sits on the eastern side of Texas.
Several sports betting bills have floated through Texas over the years but nothing has made it past the Senate. It was under serious consideration in 2021 as multiple bills were up for consideration, but they all fell short. Now Texas’ next chance to revisit the topic is in 2023 as the legislature meets every two years.