- Famous sports bettor Jim McIngvale, commonly known as “Mattress Mack,” has placed a $1.2 million wager on the Alabama Crimson Tide over the Georgia Bulldogs.
- McIngvale uses his furniture chain – Gallery Furniture – to offer promotions that hedge his massive wagers and ensure a profit regardless of the outcome of the game.
HOUSTON – One of the most notorious sports bettors in the United States – Jim McIngvale, commonly known as “Mattress Mack” – has placed another massive wager. This time, it’s a whopping $1.2 million wager on the Alabama Crimson Tide over the Georgia Bulldogs in the upcoming College Football Playoff National Championship Game.
McIngvale placed the $1.2 million bet on Caesars Sportsbook. At the time of the wager, the Crimson Tide stood as slight betting odds underdogs, holding +125 moneyline odds to defeat their SEC rival.
At those odds, McIngvale stands to win $1.50 million in profit if Alabama wins their third national championship in the last five seasons.
Who Is Mattress Mack?
Jim McIngvale was born in Mississippi in 1951. He attended what is now the University of North Texas and participated in athletics, lettering in football. In 1981, McIngvale used $5,000 of his own money to jumpstart a furniture sales business, purchasing inventory and driving around Texas to sell it door-to-door.
McIngvale used the profits from the door-to-door sales to purchase a storefront and named the store Gallery Furniture. The furniture business quickly picked up steam (largely as a result of McIngvale’s high-energy sales-pitch commercials), and soon, Gallery Furniture blossomed into one of the largest furniture retailers in Texas, raking in over $200 million in annual revenue.
As his store grew, so did McIngvale’s net worth, which is estimated to currently hover north of $300 million. As a result of the success of Gallery Furniture and McIngvale’s high-energy appearances on the company’s commercials, McIngvale grew into a local celebrity in Texas.
With plenty of money to play with and legal sports betting being regulated across the United States, McIngvale began to make headlines with his large sports betting wagers, which often amounted to several million dollars.
McIngvale has placed high-profile wagers on a variety of events, including the World Series (particularly if the Houston Astros are involved), NFL Conference Championship Games, and the Super Bowl. However, what has turned Mattress Mack into a sports betting celebrity is not necessarily the size of his wagers, but the ingenious system he has devised to ensure he always comes out on top.
Mattress Mack Always Wins – Even When He Loses
During the 2019 American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees, McIngvale came up with a system that would enshrine him into the halls of sports betting lore for perpetuity.
McIngvale first placed a total of $13 million in wagers on the Houston Astros to defeat the New York Yankees and advance to the World Series – if the Astros won, this would net McIngvale over $12 million in profit. This was the first part of the plan.
The second (and most important) part of the plan was what makes Mattress Mack such a revered figure in the sports betting world. After placing his wager, McIngvale announced that if the Houston Astros won the ALCS (meaning McIngvale won his wager), any qualified customer who purchased at least $3,000 in furniture from his Gallery Furniture stores would be entitled to a full refund.
This promotion ensured that Mattress Mack made a profit on the ALCS: if the Astros won, the over $12 million in profit from his winning wager would more than cover the refunds for the promotion, ensuring a profit for McIngvale. If the Astros did not win, the increase in Gallery Furniture sales as a result of the promotion would hedge McIngvale’s losses from the wager and generate an overall profit.
While the Astros won this series and advanced to the World Series and McIngvale raked in a nice profit on his wager, he got an opportunity to test the effectiveness of his new betting system quite quickly. Less than a month later, in the 2019 World Series, McIngvale wagered around $13 million on the Astros to defeat the Washington Nationals; concurrently, he ran another “Astros Win” furniture refund promotion at his stores.
When the Nationals won the 2019 World Series, McIngvale was out over $13 million from the losing wager; however, his plan saved his bottom line. Largely as a result of the “Astros Win” promotion, Gallery Furniture raked in over $20 million in furniture sales, more than making up for his lost wager and generating a solid profit even after losing $13 million on the wager.
Mattress Mack has continued to leverage his furniture store promotions into guaranteed profits when combined with his sports betting, leading some financial experts to believe this type of wager may replace traditional business insurance in some industries.
While McIngvale is undoubtedly hoping the Crimson Tide can make good on his most recent million-dollar bet, his profit margin will be fine – win or lose.
Jerad has been a welcomed addition to the LegalSportsBetting.com writing team. Covering topics regarding the expansion of sports betting in the US, Jerad focuses on legislative efforts, bill signings and other methods for sports betting legalization. Finishing his education as a college baseball player, Jerad has first-hand knowledge of competitive sports, paired with years of personal sports betting as well. As a political science major at the University of Central Florida, Jerad covers the political, legal, and legislative aspects of sports gambling without any issues.