Jim ‘Mattress Mack’ McIngvale is no stranger to losing eye bleedingly large sums of money on sports bets, and even though he offsets losses by tying in his bets with promotions at his furniture store in Texas, this one had to hurt.
It wasn’t so much the money that will have stung, but the way in which the bet went down.
We will get to that shortly, but first, let’s talk about the bet itself.
It is reported that Mack actually placed two separate bets on the Bengals to win Superbowl LVI, which is what he usually has to do. He often bets so big that a single bookie won’t take the risk, so he usually has to spread his overall wager across a few different platforms. He sometimes likes to make an initial bet, then add to it later on if he thinks the odds are still favourable.
Whatever the case may have been in this instance, the details of the individual bets aren’t available, but they came to $9.5 million in total with an overall return of around $25,650,000 – that would have been a net win of $16,150,000.
Working backwards, this makes the odds of the overall bet +170 in Mack’s native American odds, and 17/10 or 2.7 to the rest of us. Again, the individual odds taken for each bet are not known.
He came so close too, but the Bengals had a history of falling at the final hurdle, reaching the Super Bowl and losing it twice in the 1980s, and 2022 was no different.
How the Bet was Lost
Super Bowl LVI took place on the 13th February 2022, in California, and the Cincinnati Bengals were up against the LA Rams, who won it back in 2000 and were the favourites this time around too.
It didn’t start well for the Bengals, going 7-0 down after a 17 yard touchdown was converted a little over halfway through the quarter. They did manage to pull 3 points back via a 29 yard field goal 30 seconds before the end, but they were trailing after a non-too-confident start.
The Bengals found their feet in the second quarter and fought back hard, winning the quarter but still trailing 13-10.
After arguably the greatest half time show of any Super Bowl ever (some people will argue that it was Prince, but we will take Dr Dre, Snoop, Eminem, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamaar, Mary J Blige, and Anderson .Paak over Prince any day), the game was back underway.
The Rams’ defence was pretty shaky in the 3rd quarter, allowing Cincinnati to win the quarter 10-3 after a 75 yard pass gained them 7 points just 10 seconds into the quarter. The score at the end of the 3rd was 20-16 to the Bengals, who were starting to believe that their first ever Super Bowl was about to be won.
The 4th quarter was quiet in terms of points, then, with 1:25 left on the clock, the Rams took 7 points from a 1 yard pass to regain the lead, and managed to run down the clock to win the game 23-20.
The Cincinnati Bengals had fought back to come from behind and take the lead, only for victory to be snatched away from them 85 seconds before time.