Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale is the Texas furniture mogul who hedged against an extravagant mattress promotion by betting some $13 million on the Houston Astros to win the World Series, including roughly $5 million at New Jersey sportsbooks.
With the Astros’ Game 7 defeat to the Washington Nationals last night, Mack won’t see that money again. But he was back at work in one of his Houston-area Gallery Furniture stores Thursday morning, upbeat as ever.
“My head is bloody, but certainly unbowed,” he said in a voice hoarse from a long night at the stadium.
The 68-year-old businessman was positioned to win $25 million if the game had gone differently. That would have been enough to cover the full refund he was offering to customers who had recently purchased a mattress over $3,000.
The bets were a makeshift insurance policy in a year he said he had a tough time finding an actual policy at a reasonable price. The last time he offered the promotion, in 2017, the Astros were not favorites to win, as they were this year.
According to Darren Rovell, a sports business reporter who attended Game 7 alongside Mack, Mack’s total exposure for the promotion was “north of $20 million.”
“Mattress Mack” spent a lot of time & money flying around the country gambling to hedge his $20 million in liability from his “Astros win” promo. He wanted to give away the mattresses & furniture. With the Astros down 4 into their final at bats, the realization is setting in. pic.twitter.com/uBxErEbP40
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) October 31, 2019
Despite the disappointing result both for him and his customers, Mack called the promotion a success.
“Someone asked me earlier whether I’d do it again. The answer’s in a New York minute. I have zero regrets,” he said. “This was fun for the customers, fun for us. It promoted Major League Baseball. It promoted the Astros. And everybody had a great time with it.”
Mack also mentioned he watched a portion of Wednesday’s game with children from the nonprofit Sunshine Kids, which takes kids with cancer on exciting outings.
“There’s this little girl 8 or 9 years old,” he said. “She’s brave and she’s resilient and she’s smiling and that kind of puts all this baseball loss into perspective.”
Mack made national headlines in recent weeks as he shuttled between sportsbooks in New Jersey, Mississippi and Nevada to place a bevy of eye-popping bets.
Rovell told the Asbury Park Press that a single $1.5 million dollar wager Mack made in New Jersey through the FanDuel app was the biggest bet placed in the state since it legalized sports betting last year.
Mack admitted to feeling “a little foggy” Thursday morning from all the drama but said he and his state are already looking ahead to the next challenge.
“A setback is just a setup for a comeback. Tough times never last, tough people do,” he said. “That’s the way I am and that’s the way us resilient Texans are. You knock us down, we’ll get back up and get back in the fight.”