‘Mattress Mack’ on His $3.5 Million World Series Bet: ‘I Still Have Other Bets to Place’
DraftKings. Pictured: Jim McIngvale aka “Mattress Mack”
On Tuesday afternoon, Jim McIngvale, otherwise known as “Mattress Mack,” showed up to DraftKings Sportsbook at the Scarlet Pearl Casino in Biloxi, Miss., to pick up his ticket for the largest bet in the history of Mississippi and DraftKings.
We caught up with the man, who bet $3.5 million on the Astros to win the World Series, to ask him why he came to the sports betting markets again as insurance for his furniture store’s promotion that pays customers back on large purchases if the team wins it all.
UPDATE: On Wednesday evening, we got word from FanDuel Sportsbook that “Mattress Mack” would be placing an additional $1.5 million bet on the Astros to win the World Series at +220 odds. According to the sportsbook, he’ll place the wager online on Thursday. Assuming McIngvale puts in the wager, this will mean he has $5 million total on the Astros to win $11 million.
ROVELL: You said in 2017, when the Astros won it all, that you needed to use the sports betting markets because insurance didn’t work out. What happened this year?
MACK: Well, let me just say I did successfully buy insurance last year, but of course the Red Sox won. This year, knowing how good the Astros were, I wanted to wait a bit. But then at the trade deadline, they got Grienke and their odds were cut in half, so the insurance I lined up changed. Then, I signed a new deal. But that was waived off after the hurricane on the coast caused so much damage that the insurance companies got nervous and pulled their offer.
ROVELL: Obviously the betting markets are efficient in that you directly hedge your bet against the Astros at the store by betting on them to win here. Is this the most efficient way to reduce risk?
MACK: Well, the insurance market definitely takes more of a profit margin than the sportsbooks do. What was great about this year, unlike in 2017 when it was just Nevada, is that I had a lot more markets to shop around to. It’s the biggest bet of my life and I’m thrilled DraftKings and the Scarlet Pearl was willing to take it.
ROVELL: If you win, you net $7.7 million. Is that enough to cover your “losses” from the rebate you are offering customers?
MACK: No. My liability is a little bit north of $15 million. So I still have other bets to place. The World Series is a month from now so we’ll look at numbers after we know the Astros’ next opponent.
ROVELL: Your furniture company, Gallery Furniture, has three Houston locations. What is annual revenue?
MACK: In between $150 million and $200 million.
ROVELL: So let’s be clear, are your rooting for or against the Astros?
MACK: ONE-THOUSAND PERCENT FOR THEM! That’s why I bet on them. That’s why I’m wearing the jersey. That’s why we’ve run 10 million commercials. I’m a huge fan and we are huge sponsors.
ROVELL: A lot of people will say there is so much publicity value in doing this you’ve already covered your bet. What do you say to that?
MACK: There certainly is. When I picked the Broncos to win the Super Bowl and the center hiked the ball over Peyton Manning’s head, we lost $8 million off rebates. My wife was going to divorce me. But the truth is, we got $30 million to $40 million in media value. I anticipate it will be even more here.
ROVELL: I heard there was a briefcase full of cash. Did you really bet in cash?
MACK: No. I would be too scared to do that. I wired the money yesterday and flew here to meet with people and take my ticket.
DARREN: OK, don’t lose that ticket.
MACK: If I lose it, I have big problems.