Mattress Mack famously won a record $72.6 million in bets on the Astros to win the 2022 World Series.
But Houston furniture store owner Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale also has suffered some major gambling losses.
It can be argued that McIngvale, 72, is always in a win-win situation when he makes multimillion-dollar bets because they’re to reduce risk on promotions at his Gallery Furniture stores — where customers are usually guaranteed to get their money back if the Astros or another team wins a championship.
McIngvale either loses the wager and keeps all of the proceeds from the promotion, or wins the wager and uses the money to pay back his customers.
But he didn’t always hedge his bets. In an uninsured promotion for the 2014 Super Bowl, he said he lost $8 million when the Seahawks upset the Broncos.
“I was too nervous to sweat the game,” McIngvale told the Review-Journal. “So during the game, I was on the treadmill — that’s my only form of relaxation — for three hours. Finally, my wife called and I said, ‘Who won?’
“She said, ‘Seattle won, dummy. We’re out eight million dollars.’ That was a lot.”
Mattress Mack’s wife, Linda McIngvale, later told the RJ that they actually refunded $13 million on that game, when Seattle scored a safety on the first play, and that she probably called her husband a different name.
“That Seahawks game was horrible. Horrible,” she said. “We didn’t really understand hedging, and all it took was one play to go ‘Oh, (shoot).’ They got a safety, and it went downhill from there.”
Here are four more of McIngvale’s largest losses:
Nat this time
McIngvale lost $13 million in wagers on the Astros to win the 2019 World Series. Houston lost to the Washington Nationals in seven games after squandering a 3-2 series lead.
Bengals or bust
The Bengals covered the spread as 4½-point underdogs to the Rams in a 23-20 loss in the 2022 Super Bowl. But McIngvale lost $9.5 million in bets on Cincinnati on the money line, which is the odds on a team to win a game, regardless of the spread.
McIngvale lost $6.1 million in money-line wagers on Alabama to beat Georgia in the 2022 College Football Playoff national championship. The Bulldogs beat the Crimson Tide 33-18, sealing the win on Kelee Ringo’s 79-yard pick six of Bryce Young with 54 seconds left.
Houston has problem
The Houston Cougars entered the 2023 NCAA Tournament as the favorites to win the men’s basketball national title. But they suffered an 89-75 upset loss to Miami in the Sweet 16 as McIngvale dropped $4.1 million in wagers on Houston.