Mattress Mack on Losing ‘More Than $13 Million’ in Bets: ‘I Feel Like I Hedged Perfectly’
Darren Rovell. Pictured: Mattress Mack
- When the Washington Nationals beat the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the World Series, one of the largest monetary bets on a single team in sports history came to an end.
- Darren Rovell caught up with Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale immediately after the game that cost him "more than $13 million" in bets.
HOUSTON — The sweat heard ’round the world is over.
Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, a 68-year-old furniture mogul and philanthropist, told The Action Network he lost “more than $13 million” in bets after the Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros, 6-2, in Game 7 of the World Series.
The wagers would’ve profited approximately $25 million, according to McIngvale.
McIngvale had spent the past month betting millions on his beloved Astros to win the World Series as a means of hedging a season-long promotion running at his furniture stores that promised to refund all purchases of more than $3,000 if the Astros brought home the title.
Mack has said his liabilities for the promotion are north of $20 million.
“I feel like I hedged perfectly,” McIngvale told The Action Network while sitting in his car after Game 7. “The worst my customers got were great mattresses, the best would have been great, free mattresses. I would have loved for the Astros fans to win, but we had two bad games.
“My mattresses obviously had profit baked into them. I would do this again tomorrow — and I probably will. It’s fun to be part of the greatest story in gambling history.”
McIngvale’s month-long journey took him to at least nine different sportsbooks in three different states, traveling the country by private jet, many times the morning before attending an Astros game in person, to drop more cash on his hometown team.
The new-age of sports betting — which now includes 13 states taking legal wagers — provided Mack more outs as he tried to hedge his promotion, but still not as many as he would’ve liked.
“I would like to thank Beau Rivage for not taking my $500,000 bet today. Unibet for always having the highest odds against the Astros, causing me to bet elsewhere. FanDuel for cutting me off. You really did save me money!
“I would also like to thank the Scarlet Pearl Casino in Mississippi for taking all my action and being incredibly gracious and accommodating. They outdid the big boys.”
By our count, the Scarlet Pearl Casino, which has a DraftKings Sportsbook inside, stands to make the most money off McIngvale’s bets.
The property in Biloxi, Miss., booked $6.2 million in wagers from McIngvale, including $700,000 on Wednesday, just hours before Game 7.
“What was great about this year, unlike in 2017 when it was just Nevada, is that I have a lot more markets to shop around to,” McIngvale told The Action Network, referencing the last time he ran a similar promotion before the expansion of sports betting.
When asked whether he would take out insurance or bet again to hedge another promotion, Mack had this to say after Game 7: “I like the action. I like the adrenaline and playing for high stakes. It makes you want to get up in the morning.
“One of the great takeaways I learned in this month-long journey is, if you are going to be in the gambling business, why not gamble? I was stunned by how little action some of the big boys wanted to take.”
McIngvale’s bets may have met the same fate as millions of other wagers, becoming nothing more than ripped up pieces of paper at the bottom of a trash can on the way out of a sportsbook, but his sweat was one of a kind and Mack hopes the nationwide publicity he attracted will pay off in new business at his Gallery Furniture stores.
That sounds like a good bet.
Here are bets we’ve been able to confirm Mack placed in Nevada, Mississippi and New Jersey.
Note: When Mack and I were at the DraftKings Sportsbook/Scarlet Pearl Casino earlier on Wednesday, casino representatives told me they had taken four wagers from McIngvale totaling $6.2 million. We only have dates and odds for three of the wagers below, totaling $5.2 million. We’re trying to track down the date and odds for the fourth bet.
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