HomeSportsMattress Mack Places Another Multimillion-Dollar Bet on March Madness

Mattress Mack Places Another Multimillion-Dollar Bet on March Madness

by Suzanne Halliburton
mattress mack jim mcingvale
Bob Levey/Getty Images

We pose this question. Is it really a worthy sporting event if Mattress Mack doesn’t bet millions?

You know Mattress Mack, the Houston millionaire whose real name is Jim McIngvale. He owns Gallery Furniture, which has huge showrooms all around H-town. And he’s also a huge supporter of the city’s sports teams.

Well, this should be no surprise. Mattress Mack is going big on the Houston Cougars to win the NCAA men’s basketball championship. And that’s not an outlandish bet. The Cougars are the top seed in the Midwest. And if Houston can make it through the first four rounds, the Cougars will have the chance to win it all in front of the home folks. U of H is co-hosting the Final Four along with Rice, Houston Baptist and Texas Southern. The games will be on April 1 and 3 at NRG Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Houston Texans.

According to USA Today, Mattress Mack placed several big bets all season. And all the wagers were on the Cougars. All bets combined are $4.05 million. The smallest wager was $500k he placed on Houston with BetMGM and Barstool Sportsbook. He placed $1 million plus with FanDuel Sportsbook, DraftKings and Caesars Sports.

The payout could be close to $40 million. A year ago, he initially placed bets on both the Texas Longhorns and Baylor Bears. But once those two teams lost, Mattress Mack switched his betting allegiance to Kansas. So he won $6.27 million when the Jayhawks won the national title.

Mattress Mack Won Big with Bet on Houston Astros

Maybe this year’s Cougars will be as good to Mattress Mack as his beloved Houston Astros. He won $75 million off a total of $10 million he wagered on the Astros to win last year’s World Series. He bet most of the money at casinos across the Texas border in Louisiana.

Although no official stats are maintained, the payout was believed to be the largest in U.S. sports betting history. No wonder Mattress Mack was so excited to be a part of the Astros victory parade.

Now, there’s a business reason to make the wagers. It’s usually to cover the promotional giveaways he runs through Gallery Furniture. Last summer, the store promotion offered any customer who spent at least $3,000 to have their money doubled in a refund if the Astros won the World Series. Later in the summer, he tweaked the promotion. If someone spent $3,000, he or she would get that refunded if the Astros were successful in the Series.

After the World Series, Gallery Furniture paid one customer $25k.

“It’s a big undertaking for us, especially as many people were in this promotion,” McIngvale told ESPN. “But it certainly made a lot of people happy.”

Plus, Mattress Mack is a philanthropist, especially supporting the city during national disasters. He’s turned his huge showrooms into shelters for people fleeing hurricanes. And he’s always buying supplies for storm evacuees. He sent 40 trucks packed with supplies to Louisiana in 2021 for those displaced by Hurricane Ida.

Mattress Mack doesn’t always win. He wagered on the national college football championship, taking home-state TCU over Georgia. But he only lost $1.5 million. Later in January, he also lost $2 million, betting on the Dallas Cowboys against the 49ers. He may decide to keep his wagers closer to Houston.