How One Texas Man Is Simultaneously Sports Betting’s Biggest Loser and Winner

Written By Martin Derbyshire on November 2, 2021 - Last Updated on June 8, 2022

A Texas furniture shop owner has turned himself into one of the biggest Super Bowl bettors of all time. Jim ‘Mattress Mack’ McIngvale has already wagered millions as a part of a free mattress promo at his stores. Only time will tell how much he’s willing to get down on Super Bowl LVI this coming February.

The owner of Gallery Furniture in Houston, McIngvale bet $3.46 million on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3.5 (-127) against the Kansas City Chiefs at DraftKings Sportsbook on Super Bowl LV in February 2021. Since legendary QB Tom Brady led Tampa Bay to a Super Bowl win, McIngale made a more than $2.75 million profit. However, he shared that and more with his Gallery Furniture customers, running a promo that offered refunds for anyone who spent $3,000 or more on a mattress ahead of the game, as long as the Bucs won.

Since legal sports betting hasn’t reached Texas just yet, McIngvale had to fly to Colorado to place the bet. McIngale’s big win covered the cost of flight, and at least a part of all those mattresses refunds. Had he lost, the profits from the mattresses would have presumably covered the cost of the bet and placing it, turning the whole thing into a hedge of sorts. Of course, the positive publicity and goodwill McIngale and Gallery Furniture created surrounding the bet were natural byproducts money just can’t buy.

McIngvale told a local reporter from FOX 26 Houston he was quite pleased with how it all worked out.

“I think it’s great. Obviously Tampa Bay played terrific. The happiest thing for me is so many customers were thrilled watching that game with their families. They’re getting a free mattress, and they made the right choice buying from us during the promotion. Our customers believe in us and put their faith and trust in us. it doesn’t get much better than that. It’s a very happy night for me.”

“Our Customers Believe in Us”

Chances are Mattress Mack and Gallery Furniture will be at it again when it comes to betting on Super Bowl LVI in February 2022. That’s because McIngvale now has a lengthy history of making such bets.

He lost $2 million betting $1 million against the Chiefs in Kansas City’s first two games during the 2019/20 NFL postseason. Then, he chased the losses betting $1 million on the San Francisco 49ers moneyline at +120 over the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. He lost that bet too, but the $3 million dip is almost nothing compared to what McIngvale has lost betting on baseball and his hometown Houston Astros. Not to mention how much he’s lost on the refunds when the bets win.

McIngvale estimates he lost as much as $14 million betting on the Astros in the 2019 World Series. However, he offered a store-wide refund of up to $3,000 that year which would have had him on the hook for close to $20 million if Houston had beaten the Washington Nationals in Game 7 of the series.

McIngvale told USA Today the bets didn’t work out, but he had no regrets.

“It was unfortunate because I wanted to give those refunds to our customers. It didn’t work out because of the way Game 7 turned out.”

It appeared to have worked out just a couple of years earlier when the Astros won the 2017 World Series. McIngvale earned close to $1 million betting on the team. However, the hedge was not so successful.

The furniture promo cost the company as much as $13 million in refunds. Shrewdly, the size of McIngvale’s wagers increased significantly after that, turning the bets into more of a true hedge against the promo.

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Trump Win Cost Him $10 Million

McIngvale has also had to pay out refunds for several similar promotions prior to 2017. He offered refunds on mattress sets worth $2,000 or more for anyone who picked the winning political party in the 2016 Presidential Election. Donald Trump‘s win for the Republicans cost him close to $10 million.

In 2014, refunds were offered to the first 500 customers to spend $6,300 or more in the store, as long as the Astros won 63 games or more. That cost him close to $4 million in refunds.

With the Astros in the MLB postseason again in 2021, McIngvale has been at it again. The Astros WIN IT ALL 2021 promotion is offering refunds to anyone who spends $3,000 or more on a Tempur-Pedic, Sealy or Stearns & Foster sleep set at Gallery Furniture. Of course, the Houston Astros must win the World Series first.

McIngvale started hedging against the promo back in June. He has since bet more than $3 million on Astros futures. That includes a $2 million bet on the Astros to win it all at 10-1 with Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill in Indiana. It also includes $1 million at 10-1 with FanDuel Sportsbook in Indiana, $250,000 with DraftKings Sportsbook, and another $100,000 with The Score, both at 16-1 in Colorado.

McIngvale stood to win more than $35 million with a Houston World Series victory. Chances are that would more than cover the cost of the refunds as part of the promotion. But whether the opposite is true, and the mattress sales can cover the more than $3 million in bets, is anybody’s guess. As is the question of how much McIngvale is willing to get down on Super Bowl LVI.

The only thing that can be said with any real certainty is that these furniture store promos, and the creative way he hedges against them, has turned Jim ‘Mattress Mack’ McIngvale into one of the biggest Super Bowl and World Series gamblers in history.

Photo by Matt York / Associated Press
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Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

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