Astros: Houston icon Mattress Mack bets $3.5 million on hometown team

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HOUSTON, TX - MAY 04: Honorees Linda McIngvale (L) and Jim McIngvale attend the Fifth Annual UNICEF Gala Houston 2018 at The Post Oak Houston on May 4, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images for UNICEF)
HOUSTON, TX - MAY 04: Honorees Linda McIngvale (L) and Jim McIngvale attend the Fifth Annual UNICEF Gala Houston 2018 at The Post Oak Houston on May 4, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images for UNICEF) /
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Jim McIngvale, better known as “Mattress Mack”, has placed a $3.5 million bet at a Mississippi casino on the Houston Astros winning it all this year.

Mattress Mack, the owner of Gallery Furniture, is a popular and well-known figure in the Houston area. Yesterday, he walked into the Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort in Biloxi, Mississippi, with a briefcase holding $3.5 million dollars in cash and plopped it down on the Astros to win the World Series.

The multi-million dollar risk is essentially a hedge bet against an offer he made earlier this year. McIngvale promised to refund customers their money on purchases of $3,000 or more on bedding furniture from his stores. He has made similar offers in the past and lost an estimated $13 million in refunds paid out when the Astros won the World Series in 2017.

The bet is believed to be the biggest bet ever placed in a Mississippi casino and possibly one of the largest in the country. Mack has placed smaller bets in a few other casinos on the Astros this season, but this is by far the biggest. He could stand to take home $11.2 million if Houston takes the title.

"“I’m just amazed how much DraftKings and Scarlet Pearl took, and they didn’t blink an eye,” McIngvale said. “That’s pretty rare in the sports betting business in the United States for someone to take three and [a] half million dollars.” via David Purdum of ESPN"

McIngvale is well-liked in Houston and is known for his philanthropic ways. During Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and recently with Tropical Storm Imelda, he took hundreds of people in that had nowhere to go when they lost everything in the massive flooding. He turned his furniture store showrooms and warehouses into makeshift shelters.

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He is a huge fan of the Astros and was selected to throw out the first pitch at the home opener of the 2017 ALDS against the Boston Red Sox. When the Astros went on to the World Series, he bought 90 tickets for first responders and their families to attend the first game at Minute Maid Park. He followed that up by chartering a jet to fly 40 lucky winners to Los Angeles to cheer on the Astros.

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