Although Jim placed an overall wager of $10 million on this bet, he did not place it all at the same time, or even with the same bookie.
So convinced was he that the Houston Astros would win the World Series, he made several different bets at different times, the first of which was a pretty ballsy $3 million which he made outside a Subway sandwich shop in Louisiana.
Talk about a paradox.
Why, since he lives in Texas, was he travelling to Louisiana to place his bet? Because in Texas sports betting is not allowed, so Mack has to cross the state border every time he wants to make a wager.
Having gone to this sort of effort on a number of occasions, he must have had high levels of conviction.
His first bet was placed at odds of 10/1 in May of 2022, but he added to his wager as the baseball season went on, finishing up with $10 million on the table at odds of 7.5/1 overall.
This banked him $75,000,000 when the Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-2, although thanks to a promotion he had tied in with his furniture store much of that went back to customers.
He had promised anyone who spent over $3,000 in his stores would get double their money back if the Astros won.
How the Bet was Won
The World Series of Baseball is a best of 7 playoff between the winners of the American League champions and the National League champions, which in this case were the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies.
The competition kicked off with the Astros as the favourites in the bookies’ eyes, although Mack got the majority of his bets on early enough for this not to have mattered in terms of the odds.
With the score being equal after 9 innings in the first game, in went into extra innings before a home run by Realmuto early in the 10th put the Phillies ahead. They had amazingly pulled back from a 5-run deficit and ultimately took the game.
The Astros were on fine form in game 2, leading 3-0 in the 1st and becoming the first World Series team in history to start a game with three straight extra-base hits. The game was also notable for umpire, Pat Hoberg, calling a perfect game, with 129 of 129 pitches called correctly. The Houston Astros won 5-2 making it one game a-piece.
Game 3 was a shutout, with the Phillies winning 7-0, and all seven runs were scored via home runs. A day to forget for the Astros, but the game did mark the 1,000th home run scored in World Series history.
The Astros got their own back in game 4, although it was a slow start. All 5 runs were scored in the 5th innings. Houston’s Christian Javier had a great game, pitching the first 6 innings without allowing a hit and striking out 9 batters. The game ended 5-0.
Another win for the Astros in game 5, albeit a much closer one with a final score of 3-2, meant they were just a single game away from winning the series, with 3 games under their belt and the Phillies taking 2. A win in game 6 would win them the title, whereas the Phillies would need to win game 6 and game 7 to keep their dreams alive.
It was Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale himself who the the ceremonial first pitch in game 6, and maybe this was what swung fortune in his favour that day.
The game was scoreless for the first 5 innings, with the Phillies breaking the damn in the 6th, but the Houston Astros coming back strong with 4 runs of their own in the same innings. This was the innings that decided the game, as no further runs were scored and Houston took game 6 and in turn, the World Series.
Mattress Mack was filmed at the moment the game was won, and needless to say he looked pretty thrilled, both as a lifelong Astros fan and as a man who had just become $75,000,000 richer.