The Houston Astros are heavy favorites to win the World Series, which begins Friday, and one of the team’s most famous fans shares the odds-makers’ predicted outcome of the “Fall Classic” contest.
Flamboyant Houston furniture store owner Jim McIngvale, better known as “Mattress Mack,” made a series of bets — $10 million in total — earlier this year on the Astros to win the World Series.
If the Astros regain the MLB crown — the team’s first title came in 2017 — McIngvale would win $75 million, which was widely reported to be the largest payout in sports betting history.
“The excitement is very real in Houston. The whole city is ecstatic about the Astros,” MacIngvale told reporters during a news conference, adding that he “has a great flair for taking risks.”
“When Yordan Álvarez hit a home run to defeat the Seattle Mariners in Game 1 (of the American League Series), there were seven million people running around each other. Winning the bet is important but the most important thing is returning the money to our customers who bought 75 million worth of money,” McIngvale said. dollars in furniture.
In an interview with CNN last year, McIngvale said he bet $3.35 million back in June 2021 that the Astros would win the World Series last year.
McIngvale told CNN in October of last year that he made huge bets to cover another gamble of another kind — customers who bought certain mattresses costing $3,000 or more would get their money back if the Astros won.
“It’s a hedge,” said MacIngville, who is known in Houston for his commercials and community philanthropy, turning his stores into shelters to help people displaced by extreme weather events, such as Hurricane Harvey.
During Thursday’s press conference, McIngvale said his first major bet was during the Houston Texans’ first season in the NFL in 2002.
Mack added that “his wife worries him more” about the magnitude of his bets.
As an ardent Astros fan, supporting the team was an easy decision for McIngvale, but he sees baseball’s impact as far-reaching.
“Baseball brings joy to the city. The whole country is divided politically between Republicans and Democrats, but baseball brings us all together. All races, colors and creeds,” Macingville said.
And I say, thanks to the Houston Astros for bringing Houston together. I’ve been to all the games and I can’t tell you how many people are there and it’s a big deal for them.
“It’s their birthday, it’s their wedding anniversary but they’re out there cheering the Houston Astros. Whatever we can do to improve people’s lives through this wonderful, magical game called baseball, we’re happy to do.”
Game 1 of the 2022 World Series kicks off Friday, October 28, at Minute Maid Park in Houston.