Would you ever be so confident in your favorite MLB team’s championship odds that you would bet $10 million that they’ll win the World Series? Well, this is exactly what Houston Astros superfan Jim McIngvale, a 68-year-old furniture store owner, is doing – and not for the first time.
Affectionately known as “Mattress Mack,” McIngvale set a state record when he first made a $3.5 million bet at a Mississippi casino on the Houston Astros winning this year’s World Series. The odds for this wager are +220, so he stands to make a $7.7 million profit.
He then tried to place a $5 million bet on the Astros with the FanDuel sportsbook in New Jersey. In the end, the sportsbook would only accept a $1.5 million bet from the Houston businessman, allowing him to potentially score a $3.3 million payday.
McIngvale also placed significant bets on the Astros with a number of Las Vegas sportsbooks. In total, he’s rumored to have put down $10 million on his hometown team and stands to net $20 million if they win the World Series.
When he was asked about his decision to bet as much as $10 million on this single outcome, McIngvale responded by saying, “If I couldn’t afford to lose it, I wouldn’t do it.” According to estimates, he is worth in the region of $75 million.
One of the reasons why he is staking so much money is because it is part of a hedging strategy for his business.
His mattress store is running a tantalizing promotion for customers, offering 100% refunds on mattress purchases worth $3,000 or more if the Houston Astros win the World Series.
McIngvale estimates an Astros victory could cost him as much as $15 million, eating the vast majority of his sportsbook profits.
Houston’s “mattress king” ran a similar promotion when the Astros won the World Series in 2017. That historic victory – the first in the team’s history – cost him $12 million in refunds. Not that he’s complaining:
“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 said.
Most sportsbooks have the Houston Astros as the odds-on favorites to win the World Series in 2019. Next in the rankings are the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees. The Astros are out in front of the betting mainly due to their potent starting pitching lineup.
The Houston Astros begin their quest for the title today, Oct. 4, in the best-of-five ALDS series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
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Last modified: January 10, 2020 3:33 PM UTC