Houston Furniture Store Owner Places Record $3.5 Million Bet on Astros to Win World Series
Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, a furniture salesman in Houston, is placing a number of high-dollar bets on the Houston Astros to win the 2019 World Series. On Tuesday, McIngvale placed what is believed to be one of the largest bets in the history of American sports betting on his hometown club.
McIngvale bet $3.5 million on the Astros to win the championship this fall at the DraftKings Sportsbook at the Scarlet Pearl casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. McIngvale bet on the Astros at +220 odds, which means he will net $7.7 million in winnings if Houston can win its second World Series title in three years.
Mattress Mack is reportedly attempting to try and offset the potential loss of millions of dollars as a part of a promotion offered at his stores. For most of the baseball season, Gallery Furniture has been offering to refund purchases of $3,000 or more if the Astros go on to win the World Series. He ran the same promotion back in 2017, and he had to refund around $10 million in purchases when the team did wind up winning it all. McIngvale placed over $1 million worth of bets at various Las Vegas casinos that year, which helped him offset his losses as a part of the promotion.
McIngvale placed a separate bet worth $200,000 on the Astros winning the World Series at +250 odds at the South Point in Las Vegas. He also has additional undisclosed wagers with Nevada-based bookmakers like Caesars, MGM, Circa Sports and Treasure Island. With sports betting legal in a few states outside of Nevada since the middle of 2018, McIngvale has had more options when it comes to placing said bets.
Matt Kalish, the co-founder of DraftKings, told ESPN,
“I think it’s the biggest bet that’s ever happened in Mississippi.”
That’s not exactly a crazy claim considering sports betting wasn’t legal in the state until August 1, 2018.
More Bets Coming
While McIngvale has already placed one of the largest sports bets in American history, he may not be done quite yet. ESPN says that the furniture store proprietor has been in with several different sportsbooks in New Jersey regarding another potential large wager. Back in September, FanDuel Sportsbook in New Jersey reportedly requested approval from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement on a bet worth more than $5 million on the Astros that was offered by McIngvale.
Mattress Mack has been shopping around for sportsbooks with high limits to continue to try and help offset his potential losses. Before McIngvale’s record-setting bet, more money had been bet on the New York Yankees to win this year’s World Series than any other team. The Yankees have the third-best odds of any team behind the Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers, at +425.
Multi-million-dollar bets on sports are infrequent, to begin with. Most big-money bets tend to come in on the Super Bowl. Back in 2018, a bettor at the MGM sportsbook in Las Vegas reportedly wagered $3 million on the Philadelphia Eagles’ moneyline ahead of Super Bowl LII. The Eagles wound up beating the New England Patriots in the game, which netted the bold bettor $4.5 million.
While sportsbooks were initially rooting for the Astros to win the World Series this year from a liability perspective, McIngvale’s bets may well change the narrative. Kalish added,
“This does change the picture for us a little bit. This will make the Astros the biggest liability.”
When asked about his bets, Mattress Mack said,
“It’s a whole different game in 2019. I know these wacky promotions like this one when people get their money back, it’s the greatest publicity I could ever hope for.”
He insists that he always cheers for his hometown Astros, regardless of whether their success may ultimately hurt his financial bottom-line.
Astros’ Run to the World Series
Houston, who finished the regular season with an MLB-best record of 107-55, will face the winner of Wednesday’s American League Wild Card clash between the Oakland Athletics and the Tampa Bay Rays. The Astros will host Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Friday.
McIngvale would reportedly like to wager at least $10 million on the Astros to help fully offset his expected losses.
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