After the Houston Astros won the World Series, a prolific Texas gambler with a penchant for attention-grabbing bets won nearly $75 million, including what sportsbooks claim is the largest payout on a single legal sports bet in U.S. history.
Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale of Houston has wagered a total of $10 million on an Astros victory at various sportsbooks.
His bets include a $3 million wager with Caesars Sportsbook in May at 10-to-1 odds. It pays him $30 million, according to Brad Harwood, a sportsbook spokesperson, which is the largest payout on a single legal sports bet in U.S. history.
“I have no fear in me,” McIngvale said before the big win on Nov. 1, while giving away mattresses at Harrah’s casino in Atlantic City to military personnel, veterans, and first responders. “I have a high risk tolerance. If I fail, there will always be another day.”
McIngvale has a history of placing large wagers on World Series, Super Bowl, and NCAA Final Four tournaments. He links the bets to try to cover the cost of promotions at his Houston mattress store; now that the Astros have won, customers who purchased high-end mattresses will get their money back.
McIngvale wagered $3 million with Caesars, $2 million with BetMGM, $2 million with Barstool Sports, and $1 million each with Wynn, Unibet, and Betfred.
“This last week has been especially… beyond words,” McIngvale said in a social media statement, alongside a photo of himself with a suitcase full of cash.
McIngvale estimates he’s made “probably a couple million net” in the six or so years he’s been placing large bets on sporting events.
However, it does not always work out for him. He lost nearly $10 million on the most recent Super Bowl, which he supported the Cincinnati Bengals over the eventual champion Los Angeles Rams.
He also lost a 2021 World Series bet on the Astros, a national college championship game bet on Alabama, and NFL futures bets on the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans.