Mack’s big World Series bet has already paid off

But the owner of Houston’s Gallery Furniture is counting on an Astros ultimate World Series victory over the Atlanta Braves to make it sweeter still for fans, customers and the retailer

HOUSTON — This past week, Gallery Furniture sold more than $10 million worth of mattresses, owner Jim McIngvale said. And while he wouldn’t provide an overall sales number, Saturday was the biggest day in the retailer’s history, only to be topped by Sunday’s business. Then topped again Monday.

The reason? A repeat of the retailer’s “Win it All” promotion: Spend $3,000 or more on a mattress at Gallery Furniture, and if the Houston Astros win the World Series, you get your money back. McIngvale and Gallery are all over the national news again this month thanks to the excitement surrounding the championship series, Mack’s multi-million-dollar wagers and the even bigger payouts that would come with the victory.

He confirmed the key details to Home News Now. In June, McIngvale placed four bets at four different Sportsbooks. The biggest was a $2 million bet and Caesars Sportsbook worth $20 million if the Astros win it all. It would be the “largest legal payout’ in sports betting history, according to reports.

All told, McIngvale wagered $3.5 million for a potential profit of about $35.6 million, not including the initial investment he’d also get back with a win, he added (and he does call it an investment).

Jim McIngvale wth the “Rally Nuns” during a World Series game in Houston

We say in our headline that the bet already paid off because it has. Think about it. At last tally, Gallery’s promotion had generated about $25 million in bedding sales. “It might be a little more now, but not much,” he said Thursday. Even if the Astros lose to the Atlanta Braves (and McIngvale is convinced they won’t) he’s out $3.35 million “investing” in a promotion that brought in $25-plus million in business.

What’s more there were about 5,000 entries into the promotion, which started in early June and ended just before the first pitch Tuesday, a nice long stretch that kept consumers excited and walking into his stores all summer and into the fall as the Astros moved from the regular season into the playoffs and finally the World Series. A lot of customers spent just the $3,000 they needed to enter, but a lot of them also spent $10,000 or something in between with the retailer, he said. So there’s more business behind that $25 million in mattress business.

Now, compare that to a very similar promotion Gallery ran in 2019, when the Astros played and lost to the Washington Nationals in the World Series. McIngvale reportedly lost about $13 million in wagers (if you don’t add in the boost to business the store saw in the runup).

So how is it this time around, McIngvale stands to gain so much more with a win while betting so much less? It’s all about the odds and the time on his bets. Earlier this year, McIngvale ran a similar “Big Game” promotion betting on Tampa Bay to win the Super Bowl. He didn’t say how much he ultimately wagered, but the one bet that got all the attention was a record $3.46 million wager on the DraftKings mobile app that ended up paying out $6.18 million. But again, McIngvale was making his bets too close to the big game, so the odds tightened. Take out his initial wager and it wasn’t quite enough to cover the refunds Gallery paid out to customers during a store party.

“This old country boy from east Dallas learned his lesson,” he told HNN, “that if you bet early and bet often you get 10-to-1 or 16-to-1 odds, vs. if you bet right now for the Astros to win the World Series, you have to bet $140 to win $100.

“But again, I don’t know anything about marketing,” he added with tongue lodged firmly in cheek. “I’m waiting for all the geniuses in the trade to teach me. I’m hoping my competitors can teach me a thing or two, especially all the recent arrivals in the Houston metro area, coming to push me out of business,” (an apparent reference to the fairly recent arrival of American Furniture Warehouse and news that Living Spaces isn’t far behind).

“I’m trying to learn from all the experts in the mattress business  how to sell mattresses and hopefully next time, I’ll do better,” McIngvale said when we pushed him to elaborate. But his response must’ve been more tongue-in-cheek given Mattress Mack’s success with the bedding promotion despite facing the same supply disruptions his competitors face.  

McIngvale focused on the game

He contended Gallery has procured “every available Tempur-Pedic across the entire county, and it’s still ain’t enough” to meet demand. His solution has been to offer free upgrades to whatever is available “because I think the customer ought to be happy.

“So if they bought a $3,000 mattress, and we don’t have what they’ve bought, I’m giving them the $4,000 mattress,” he said.

Going into Friday’s Game 3, the Astros have won one and lost one in the best-of-seven series. McIngvale has been in his element and doesn’t seem the slightest bit worried about the outcome. He told HNN, “I’m a Houston fan until the day I die,” and hasn’t hedged his bets to recoup any losses should the Astros fail to pull it off.

Before the first two games in Houston, he spent hours in the stadium lobby taking pictures with folks who identify as both Astro fans and Mack fans. 

He also has purchased World Series tickets for a group of some 55 nuns with the Dominican Sisters of Mary Immaculate Province in Houston. They teach a Bible class at the free preschool Gallery now offers at the flagship store for employees’ children and other kids in the neighborhood. He first invited them to the American League Championship Series against the Boston Redsox, and they’ve been considered good luck ever since, with some fans dubbing them the “Rally Nuns.”

“I asked them if they want to go to the game. They said yes, so I bought them seats for all the World Series games (in Houston),” McIngvale said matter-of-factly.

His parting words: “Go ‘Stros! We’re going to win the World Series because we’ve got great coaches, great players, and a great organization.  And Atlanta is really good, too, by the way.”

And just one more thing. “Put this in: I just got lucky with a little promotion. Sometimes a blind hog finds an acorn.”

Clint Engel

Clint Engel is a veteran home furnishings industry journalist and executive editor of Home News Now. Please share your feedback with him at

View all posts by Clint Engel →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter for breaking news, special features and early access to all the industry stories that matter!

Sponsored By: