Texas mattress mogul bets $5M in N.J. to cover World Series promotion

FILE - In this July 25, 1996 file photo, Jim 'Mattress Mack' McIngvale listens during a press conference at the the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce building in Atlanta. Jim McIngvale, a mattress store owner from Houston who calls himself 'Mattress Mack,' plans to bet at least $1.5 million on the Astros in New Jersey on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. (Richard Carson/Houston Chronicle via AP)

FILE - In this July 25, 1996 file photo, Jim 'Mattress Mack' McIngvale listens during a press conference at the the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce building in Atlanta. Jim McIngvale, a mattress store owner from Houston who calls himself 'Mattress Mack,' plans to bet at least $1.5 million on the Astros in New Jersey on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. (Richard Carson/Houston Chronicle via AP)

New Jersey sports books are on the hook for millions if the Houston Astros win the World Series, and a sizeable portion of that is thanks to a Texas furniture mogul.

Jim McIngvale, better known as “Mattress Mack,” is offering customers at his three Houston-area stores a full rebate on mattresses over $3,000 if the Astros win.

To pay for the promotion, he said he’s placed more than $10 million in sports bets across the country, including at least $5 million in New Jersey.

“I don’t want to put myself in the position where I’m not 100% in favor of the Astros, so that’s why I’m doing this hedging, because I bet with my heart and my heart is with the Houston Astros, not with my wallet,” he said.

In a conversation Tuesday, the 68-year-old businessman was a little cagey about how much the promotion could cost him.

“That’s proprietary information,” he said. “Let me just put it this way: It’s a whole lot. It’s more than it was in 2017 when we gave back 13 or 15 million.”

That’s right: He’s done this before. But unlike two years ago, when the Los Angeles Dodgers were favored to win the World Series, he told the Los Angeles Times he couldn’t find a reasonable insurance policy this year with the Astros the favorites.

So he’s gone all in betting on his hometown team.

Mack stands to win about $20 million if the Astros beat the Washington Nationals. Game 6 is tonight with Houston up three games to two in a best-of-seven series.

“A huge part of the promotion, if not all of it, would be covered by that,” he said.

Darren Rovell, a sports business reporter with The Action Network, has been tracking the bets Mack has placed on the Astros since early October.

Rovell told The Asbury Park Press that a single $1.5 million dollar wager Mack made in New Jersey through the FanDuel app is the biggest bet placed in New Jersey since the state legalized sports betting last year, as well as the biggest bet ever placed online.

Overall, Mack said about half his bets were placed online. Asked about the security for his potentially lucrative physical betting slips, Mack says there’s no problem there.

“I hide them underneath my heavy and thick Tempur-Pedic mattress because it’s too heavy for some thief to pick it up and gets those slips,” he said. “And by doing that, the money is really in the mattress.”

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