When a business owner decides to give away refunds of over $3,000 if a sizable favorite wins a sporting event, it’s safe to say said business owner is going to look for ways to hedge his bets and avoid losing too much money.
Gallery Furniture owner Jim McIngvale is in just such a position. The Houston area business owner, known as Mattress Mack, ran a “Win It All” promotion that ended on Tuesday and leaves him on the hook for over $15 million in refunds, according to the Houston Chronicle. The promotion offers customers refunds for $3,000 or more in mattress-related purchases if the Houston Astros win the 2019 World Series.
The Astros entered the playoffs as +200 favorites to win the World Series. They were followed by the Dodgers (+275), Yankees (+400), and Braves (+700). Their five potential World Series matchups were all in the top nine for the list of odds for every possible World Series matchup.
You don’t become a multi-millionaire by giving away all your money. Customers have the option of taking 150 percent of their initial purchases in store credit, but that is not going to provide enough protection against his liability. Additionally, McIngvale took out an insurance policy, per the Chronicle, but he said the market is tough and he is not able to cover his entire potential losses.
Enter sports betting.
Mattress Mack said he was going to place some bets throughout the playoffs, and on Tuesday, he made it happen at the DraftKings Sportsbook in Scarlet Pearl casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. He bet $3.5 million on the Astros to win the World Series. He received +220 odds, which means he would net $7.7 million if the Astros do the deed. Purdum reported that McIngvale placed a $200,000 World Series bet on the Astros +250 at the South Point in Las Vegas and has additional wagers at various other bookmakers.
This is the second time McIngvale has dealt with such a huge potential payout. He ran a similar promotion in 2017 when the Astros beat the Dodgers to win the World Series. He told ESPN he refunded more than $10 million in purchases. He placed over $1 million in bets in Nevada to hedge against the eventual refunds.
The Astros open their quest for a World Series title when they host the winner of the American League Wild Card Game between the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays. The winner of that ALDS matchup faces the winner of the ALDS between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins.
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