By David Williams, CNN
If the Houston Astros win the World Series this year, it will be hard to find anybody happier about it than Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale.
The flamboyant Houston furniture store owner is not only a huge Astros fan, he’s also set to win $38.9 million if his bets on the team pay off.
McIngvale told CNN that he bet $3.35 million back in June that the Astros would win it all.
He said he made the wagers to cover another gamble of sorts — customers who bought certain mattresses that cost $3,000 or more will get their money back if the Astros win.
“It’s a hedge,” said McIngvale, who’s well known in Houston for his commercials and for his charitable work in the community. He’s turned his stores into shelters to help people displaced by February’s devastating winter storm, Hurricane Harvey and other severe weather events.
McIngvale spread out his bets between four different sports betting companies — including a $2 million wager with Caesars Sportsbook that would pay out $22 million if the Astros win.
The company says that would be the largest reported single payout in US sports betting history.
“It has been exciting to follow along as the season played out and the anticipation for this is now at a fever pitch with the Astros in the World Series. It should be a great series to watch and we’ll celebrate alongside Mack if he’s able pull this off,” Kenneth Fuchs, the Head of Sports at Caesars Digital said in a statement.
McIngvale estimated that his stores sold about 5,000 qualifying mattresses during the promotion, which ran from June right up until the first pitch of Tuesday’s Game 1 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
He said that the bets are cheaper than insurance to cover the cost of the promotion and that a lot of companies don’t want to take on the liability.
The big bets are also good marketing for his stores.
“My wife says I have a gambling problem, [but] it’s actually a promotions problem. I promote as a hobby because it’s called business and it gets more people in here,” McIngvale said. “This past week, we had, 3 to 1, the biggest sales week in company history — been here 40 years.”
He said the bets will more than cover the cost of the promotion if he wins and the increase in sales has been more than he wagered.
“I’m in a good position, and obviously I’m pulling for the Astros, and they had a rough night last night,” he said. “But you know, life offers you a second chance. It’s is called tomorrow. Suit up.”
He ran similar promotions when the Astros were in the World Series in 2017 and 2019.
The Astros and Braves square off for Game 2 of the best of seven series on Wednesday night.
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