Houston businessman Jim ‘Mattress Mack’ McIngvale’s $1m March Madness bet on the University of Houston Cougars could see him bag $9m. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Backing his hometown team
Famed sports bettor and Houston businessman Jim ‘Mattress Mack’ McIngvale’s $1m March Madness bet remains on track after the latest round of games. He has placed a seven-figure wager on the University of Houston Cougars to win the NCAA Men’s Division 1 college basketball tournament.
The Houston Cougars defeated Syracuse with a score of 62-46 on Saturday night in the Sweet 16 round. The Cougars are now in the Elite Eight stage of the tournament and will face Oregon State on Monday.
a profit of $9m if his team is the last one standing on April 5
Mattress Mack flew to Colorado on Friday to place his $1m bet at 9-1 odds through DraftKings’ mobile sportsbook. This means he will make a profit of $9m if his team is the last one standing on April 5.
Speaking about his wager, the Houston-based furniture store owner said: “Anything can happen in March Madness as we all know, but I’m ten toes down on Houston to bring the national title to Texas, and willing to stake a million dollars with DraftKings on that outcome.”
Looking to make history
DraftKings has noted that the $1m bet is one of the biggest March Madness wagers it has ever accepted. March Madness is always one of the most popular sporting events each year among US bettors, alongside others like the Super Bowl.
the fourth favorite on the DraftKings sportsbook
Following the Cougars’ victory over Syracuse, the Houston-based team is now the fourth favorite on the DraftKings sportsbook out of the remaining eight teams to win the tournament. The Gonzaga Bulldogs remain the overall favorite to be the eventual winner.
The Houston Cougars have never won March Madness, with their best result being a pair of runner-up finishes in the 1980s. This is the first time that the team has reached the Elite Eight stage of the tournament since 1984.
A track record of major bets
Mattress Mack has a reputation for placing big bets and garnering plenty of media attention each time. His most recent high-profile bet was on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win Super Bowl LV in February against the Kansas City Chiefs. He made a profit of $3.16m from his successful $3.46m bet when the Buccaneers won the game.
As part of his high-profile bets, Mattress Mack often runs a promotion for his Gallery Furniture stores. In advance of the Super Bowl, he committed to refunding any mattress purchases of $3,000 or more during the promotional period if his bet was a winner.
He has not yet officially announced any promotion in relation to his March Madness wager. However, the mattress store owner noted an in-store promo is likely if the team reaches the Final Four. He told The Action Network: “Maybe if they win the first game, you get 50% off your purchases and if they win the second, the title game, you get 100% off.”
The businessman’s bets aren’t always successful. Mattress Mack lost $11.6m in 2019 after backing the Houston Astros to win the MLB World Series. The Washington Nationals won its first-ever World Series by beating the Astros.