Jim ‘Mattress Mack’ McIngvale is back with a multimillion-dollar bet on the Kentucky Derby which would see him break $22m in total sport wagers since 2019. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
McIngvale is feeling lucky
Jim ‘Mattress Mack’ McIngvale is back in the spotlight with plans for a multimillion-dollar Kentucky Derby wager. If he places the record-breaking bet, the famed bettor and mattress store owner will have wagered more than $22m on sporting events since 2019.
he intends to lump at least $2m on Derby favorite Essential Quality
McIngvale has decided to wire $4m to Churchill Downs for Saturday’s event, and he said he intends to lump at least $2m on favorite Essential Quality. The 70-year-old took to Twitter Wednesday evening to post the wire transfer receipt:
McIngvale has expressed hope for 3-1 odds, which would bring the bettor’s potential profit to $12m. If he does place the $2m to $4m bet, it will represent the largest wager in the horse racing event’s history.
As is typical of McIngvale’s high-profile bets, the wager will form part of a Gallery Furniture store promotion. If Essential Quality wins, McIngvale will provide a refund to anyone who buys a mattress set of $3,000 or more.
Mack backs the track
Since announcing plans for the Kentucky Derby wager, McIngvale has made clear his intention to bet at the Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville.
Despite receiving offers from bookmakers across the country, McIngvale said wagering at the racetrack would benefit the industry most. “I wanted to go where the track’s dollars were maximized and the horse owners’ dollars were maximized to support the ecosystem of the entire game,” the bettor commented.
The purse account of Churchill Downs receives 10% of all on-track wagering. This then goes towards prize money for competing racehorse owners. Just 5% or less of the funds would go towards purses if McIngvale placed his wager elsewhere.
Mary Maline, executive director of the Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent Protective Association (KHBPA), has commended the mattress store owner’s decision to wager on-track. “There’s a huge difference between $100 bet on a racetrack and $100 bet off-track as far as what goes to purse,” she said. “Good for Mattress Mack.”
The KHBPA supported Mattress Mack’s betting plans in a Twitter post Thursday evening:
A colorful betting history
McIngvale first shot to fame in 2019 after losing $11.6m betting on the Houston Astros to win the World Series. The MLB team lost 6-2 to the Washington Nationals in Game 7 of the tournament, costing McIngvale his stake and $19m in potential profit.
lost $2m betting against the Kansas City Chiefs
This clearly hasn’t disheartened the mattress store owner however, who has since placed multiple high-stake wagers on the NFL. In 2020, he lost $2m betting against the Kansas City Chiefs in two $1m wagers. He turned his fortunes around this year, lumping $3.46m on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win Super Bowl LV. The Bucs defeated the Chiefs 31-9 to clinch the title, earning McIngvale more than $2.7m in profit.
Most recently, Mattress Mack tried his luck on the basketball. He wagered $1m on the Houston Cougars to win the NCAA Men’s Division 1 college tournament. The Baylor Bears ultimately came out victorious, costing McIngvale his stake and potential profits of $9m.