“Mattress Mack” has lost more than $10 million with similar promotions in the past few years.
In 2014, Houston furniture store owner Jim McIngvale offered a deal to his customers who spent more than $6,000 at his store, Gallery Furniture: If the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl, he would refund their entire purchase price. The team ended up destroying the Broncos, and McIngvale found himself on the hook for almost $8 million in refunds.
In commemoration of his own 63rd birthday that year, he pledged another refund to customers who spent more than $6,300 if the local Houston Astros won more than 63 games in the regular season. They amassed 70, so once again, McIngvale found himself doling out some serious cash — roughly $4 million this time.
Most recently, McIngvale and Gallery Furniture were in the headlines when he opened his store’s doors to house displaced and endangered victims of Hurricane Harvey.
With the Houston Astros taking on the Los Angeles Dodgers in this year’s World Series, McIngvale finds himself in a similar position — albeit with a little more insurance to hedge his bet. The cavalier business owner is offering refunds on any mattress purchase of more than $3,000 should the Astros steal the World Series from the favored Dodgers in tonight’s decisive Game 7.
His financial exposure on this proposition is estimated at roughly $5 million, but having learned from his previous experiences, McIngvale is hedging by also placing money on the Astros to win through a Las Vegas sportsbook as well as via insurance policies taken out with underwriters.
Here’s “Mattress Mack” detailing the current promotion in a Facebook video:
According to a Las Vegas Journal-Review article, a source estimates that McIngvale took out approximately $1.8 million in bets to hedge his position.
Regardless of the safeguards he’s put in place, there’s little doubt that this risk-taking business owner will be watching tonight’s historic Game 7 with a very vested interest in the outcome. And so will the countless customers who are banking on not just an Astros win, but a free mattress as well.