Massive bet on home team
Houston man Jim McIngvale has placed one of the biggest bets in the history of US sports betting in advance of the 2019 Major League Baseball playoffs. He wagered $3.5m on the Houston Astros winning this year’s World Series.
The amount staked on this single bet is nearly as much as the total sum wagered on baseball in Mississippi combined in the months of June through to August.
Part of overall hedging strategy
The bet is part of an overall hedging strategy for “Mattress Mack”, the local businessman and owner of Gallery Furniture, one of the largest stores of its kind across the entire United States.
all purchases of more than $3,000 will be refunded
McIngvale’s stores are currently running a promotion for customers whereby all purchases of more than $3,000 will be refunded in the event of the Astros winning the World Series. The store owner, who may have to pay upwards of $15m if the team win, is hedging his position by taking on a number of sports bets.
One of several wagers
The big $3.5m bet was placed through the DraftKings sportsbook in Biloxi, Mississippi’s Scarlet Pearl Casino. McIngvale flew to the casino from Houston and transferred the money by wire.
the largest single sports bet in Mississippi’s history
The bet was made at odds of +220, which will see “Mattress Mack” make a $7.7m profit if it proves to be a winner. The co-founder of DraftKings, Matt Kalish, believes this is the largest single sports bet in Mississippi’s history. McIngvale has stated he was surprised that the Scarlet Pearl and DraftKings accepted such a large bet.
The businessman also has a similar bet worth $200,000 in place with the South Point sportsbook in Las Vegas, which is at odds of +250. He has also wagered undisclosed sums at Circa Sports, Treasure Island, MGM, and Caesars sportsbooks.
McIngvale is actively looking to place similar large bets elsewhere. He has communicated with FanDuel in New Jersey in this regard, following which the sportsbook went on to seek approval from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to take a bet of more than $5m.
Mississippi bet drew huge publicity
The bet placed in Mississippi garnered a lot of publicity, as “Mattress Mack” entered the casino wearing his Houston Astros jersey and hat. After making the bet, he said he will be keeping the betting slip safely in his wallet.
McIngvale is aware of the benefits of offering these types of large-scale, “wacky” promotions for customers, stating that “when people get their money back, it’s the greatest publicity I could ever hope for.”
Not the first wager of its kind
“Mattress Mack” has learned his lessons from running this type of promotion, having done something similar when the Astros successfully won the World Series in 2017.
Now that the federal ban on sports betting is over and many states have open sportsbooks, McIngvale says it is a lot easier to place large sports bets. He has been working with two experienced Las Vegas gamblers to source the best prices for his bets. One of them, Anthony Curtis, says the furniture store owner wants to place a total of $10m on the Astros winning the World Series.