A man from Houston by the name of Jim McIngvale has raised eyebrows in the sports betting world after he placed one of the largest bets in history when he wagered an eye-popping $3.5 million on the Houston Astros to win this season’s World Series in Major League Baseball (MLB).
The amount is so large that this solitary bet almost matches the total amount wagered on baseball in the state of Mississippi during the months of June through August.
The businessman who owns Gallery Furniture and has earned the nickname “Mattress Mack,” is part of an overall hedging strategy. McIngvale’s stores are running a promotion for customers which stipulates that all purchases amounting to more than $3,000 would be refunded in the event that the Astros come away with the World Series win.
The store owner, who may have to pay more than $15 million if the team wins, is hedging his position by taking on a number of sports bets.
The massive $3.5 million bet was placed through the DraftKings sportsbook in Biloxi, Mississippi’s Scarlet Pearl Casino. McIngvale himself flew to the casino from Houston and moved the money by wire.
The bet was made at odds of +220, which would see “Mattress Mack” make a remarkable profit of $7.7 million if it proves to be a winner. The co-founder of DraftKings, Matt Kalish, considers this is the largest single sports bet in the history of the state. McIngvale has expressed that he was surprised that the Scarlet Pearl and DraftKings accepted such a large bet.
McIngvale is keenly looking to place identical large bets in other regions. He has gotten in touch with FanDuel in New Jersey for this matter, after which the sportsbook went on to seek approval from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to take a bet of more than $5 million.
Unsurprisingly, the bet placed in Mississippi got the spotlight, as “Mattress Mack” entered the casino donning his Houston Astros jersey and hat. After making the bet, he said he would be keeping the betting slip safely in his wallet.
McIngvale is aware of the benefits of offering these kinds of large-scale, “wacky” promotions for customers, claiming that “when people get their money back, it’s the greatest publicity I could ever hope for.”