Mattress Dealer Looks to Win the Largest Legal Bet in U.S. History

Mattress Mack has a lot riding on his hometown team.

By Andy Kriege, YSN

Jim McIngvale, owner of the Gallery Furniture retail chain in Houston, is widely known as “Mattress Mack.” Besides selling bedding, he likes to make Texas-size bets on his favorite team, the Houston Astros.

McIngvale stands to win a historic $35.6 million payout if his hometown sluggers win the World Series.

Back in June, Mack bet $3.25 million at four different sportsbooks on the Astros, as insurance against an annual free-mattress promotion that’s tied to Houston winning the Fall Classic. If that happens, one of those sportsbooks alone would be on the hook for $22 million, in what would reportedly be the largest single payout on a legal bet in U.S. history, according to the Action Network.

The chain’s “Astros Win” promotion refunds all customers who spent $3,000 or more on mattresses if the team wins it all. But Mack has hedged his bets should that happen. His current liability would be around $25 million, he said; however, he stands to make $35.6 million if his gamble pays off.

Indeed, his 20-1 longshot wager now has an excellent chance of paying off as the Astros have made it to the World Series and are now playing the Atlanta Braves with home field advantage.

After the Astros won the American League pennant last Friday over the Boston Red Sox, Mack inquired about cash-out options on his bets. “FanDuel told me they’d cash it out for $5.5 million. Caesars said they don’t do cash-outs,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I would never cash out because I’m a Houston Astros believer. But I just wanted to see what it was,” he added.

Needless to say, business has been crazy since the promotion began and all three stores are having a hard time keeping up with orders.  “I had people who have been in the furniture business for 40 years and their mouths just dropped. They couldn’t believe all the people in here,” Mack said, noting that last Saturday was his biggest sales day ever and that Sunday outdid Saturday. “The problem,” he added, “is we’ve got so many deliveries, we can’t hardly make them all.”

The promotion ended on Monday, the day before the series started. But if the opener was any indication, Mack’s incredible luck may be running out: His beloved Astro’s took it on the chin, with the Braves handing them a 6-2 loss at home.

The Astros will now have to win four of the next six for Mattress Mack to sleep easy. Still, with the way his luck was going all season, I would not bet against him.