Houston furniture mogul makes $3.5 MILLION World Series bet on Astros—and he's not done

October 02, 2019

A Houston man named Jim McIngvale made one of the largest wagers in U.S. history on the eve of the 2019 MLB Playoffs by placing $3.5 million on the Astros to win the World Series. The craziest part? He was just hedging a different kind of bet.

McIngvale, better known as "Mattress Mack," owns Gallery Furniture, one of the biggest furniture stores in the country. Through a store promotion that would refund all purchases of more than $3,000 if the Astros win it all, ol Mack says he could be on the hook for more than $15 million if that happens. In other words, this is the rare instance when gambling on sports is the safe, smart play.

Mattress Mack's (great nickname) $3.5 million wager was placed at DraftKings sportsbook at Scarlet Pearl Casino in Biloxi, Miss. At +220 odds, it would net $7.7 million. But he's already placed another $200,000 bet on the Astros in Las Vegas and he's looking for more action elsewhere. Here's a look at Mack placing the bet—and that precious betting slip:

$7.7 million. ... Might want to hold onto that one. ... Actually, Mack says he will by keeping it in his wallet. I'd lock it up in a safe somewhere, but then again, I'm not as bold as Mattress Mack. Also, good luck to anyone else trying to cash that golden ticket. I'm pretty sure the Scarlet Pearl would remember who placed a $3.5 MILLION bet.

Mack found himself in a similar situation two years ago when the Astros won their first World Series title. He says this time around it's much easier to get bets placed, though, thanks to the country's gambling laws changing so drastically. But is all the stress worth it?

"I know these wacky promotions like this one, when people get their money back, it's the greatest publicity I could ever hope for," McIngvale told ESPN recently.

This guy is as cool as the other side of the pillow.