If Astros win World Series, gambler will earn record payout

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A prolific Texas gambler with a knack for attention-getting bets stands to win nearly $75 million if the Houston Astros win the World Series, including what sportsbooks say would be 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 with numerous sportsbooks on an Astros victory.

His bets include a $3 million wager made back in May with Caesars Sportsbook at 10-to-1 odds. It would pay him $30 million, which Brad Harwood, a spokesperson for the sportsbook, said would be the largest payout on a single legal sports bet in U.S. history.

“I have no fear in me,” McIngvale said Tuesday, while giving away mattresses in Atlantic City to military personnel, veterans and first responders at Harrah’s casino. “I have a high tolerance for risk. If I lose, there’s always another day.”

McIngvale has a long history of large bets on the World Series, Super Bowl and NCAA Final Four tournament. He links the bets to try to cover the cost of promotions at his mattress store in Houston; if the Astros win this year, customers who bought high-end mattresses will get their money back.

In addition to his $3 million bet with Caesars, McIngvale bet $2 million with BetMGM; $2 million with Barstool Sports; and $1 million each with Wynn, Unibet and Betfred.

Even if the Philadelphia Phillies prevail, McIngvale figures he’ll still come out $500,000 to $1 million ahead after paying out customer refunds.

He figures he’s up “probably a couple million net” in the six or so years he has been making large bets on sports championships.

But it doesn’t always work out for him. He lost nearly $10 million on the most recent Super Bowl, backing the Cincinnati Bengals over the eventual champion Los Angeles Rams.

He also whiffed on an Astros World Series bet last year, on Alabama in the national college championship game, as well as on NFL futures bets on the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans.

The best-of-seven World Series was tied at a game apiece heading into Tuesday night’s Game 3 in Philadelphia.


Follow Wayne Parry on Twitter at twitter.com/WayneParryAC