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James McIngvale is already a legend in the Houston area, but if the Astros win this year’s World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies, he could hit a new tier of fame.
Better known as Mattress Mack, the owner of the city’s Gallery Furniture stores, McIngvale bet $10 million earlier this year on the Astros winning it all. The payoff for that will total $75 million, which would be the largest payout in sports betting history.
A win for McIngvale could be a win for his customers, too. Mattress Mack says if the Astros win, he will refund any customer who spends $3,000 on select mattresses. He has also partnered with Caesars Sportsbook to give free mattresses to active military, veterans and first responders on Friday in Houston, then again Monday in Philadelphia.
McIngvale regularly bets large amounts on big games. Earlier this year, he wagered $4.5 million that the Cincinnati Bengals would win the Super Bowl.
It didn’t work out so well.
The legacy of Mattress Mack extends far beyond gambling, though. In 2017, when flood waters rose in Houston and people were forced from their homes, McIngvale opened the doors of Gallery Furniture stores and converted them to shelters, taking in as many as 400 people each in two locations. Last year, during the Texas power crisis and winter storms, he did so again. And after Hurricane Ida hit the Gulf Coast in 2021, he provided shelter and meals for people who were affected.
“Our business philosophy is … we all have a responsibility to the well being of our community,” he said in 2017. “That’s the central theme of our culture here. We know that if we help these citizens when they’re in need, they will help us.”
The community did just that in 2009, when a warehouse fire destroyed $20 million worth of inventory and threatened to shut McIngvale’s business down. People flocked to the store to buy furniture to keep it afloat.
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