D’IBERVILLE, Miss. (WLOX) - Jim ‘Mattress Mac’ McIngvale is going all in on the Houston Astros. He walked into the Scarlet Pearl’s DraftKings sportsbook on Tuesday with a briefcase full of cash and made history.
The briefcase McIngvale carried was filled with exactly $3.5 million. With dozens of eager people looking on, he presented it to the cashier at the sportsbook, making the largest sports bet in Mississippi since sports betting became legal in August 2018.
Decked out in an Astros jersey with his big belt buckle shining, McIngvale is banking the entire $3.5 million on the hope that the Houston baseball team wins the World Series.
McIngvale was born in Starkville, Miss., but now lives in Houston. He’s known as “Mattress Mac” thanks to the chain of Gallery Furniture stores he owns.
He says despite shopping his wager around, no other gaming company wanted to step up to the plate.
Scarlett Pearl CEO LuAnn Pappas explains why the casino’s sportsbook accepted his challenge. “We don’t sweat the money. We’ll take any bet, any action, any time."
“They’ve got to win 11 more games to win it all,” said McIngvale. "The Astros are a great team. It’s just fun to be here at the Scarlet Pearl because it’s such a friendly and great place, and I’m having a great time.”
At +220 odds, the wager would pay a net $7.7 million if the Astros win the World Series, making his total winnings $11.2 million.
According to ESPN, McIngvale also recently placed a $200,000 World Series bet on the Astros +250 at the South Point in Las Vegas and has additional wagers for undisclosed amounts with Nevada bookmakers Caesars, MGM, Treasure Island and Circa Sports.
And he doesn’t appear to be finished just yet.
McIngvale has been in communication with multiple sportsbooks in New Jersey, inquiring about making large wagers, reports ESPN. In early September, bookmaker FanDuel, after discussions with McIngvale, requested approval from New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to accept a bet of greater than $5 million on the Astros.
“I’m just amazed how much DraftKings and Scarlet Pearl took, and they didn’t blink an eye,” McIngvale told ESPN. “That’s pretty rare in the sports betting business in the United States for someone to take three and [a] half million dollars.”
McIngvale’s $3.5 million wager at the Scarlet Pearl is nearly equal to how much was bet on baseball at Mississippi sportsbooks in the months of June, July and August combined.