Ben Verlander was joined by Houston Astros super fan Jim McIngvale – more affectionately known as “Mattress Mack” – on a recent episode of “Flippin’ Bats with Ben Verlander.” McIngvale discussed his historic $75 million sports betting payout after the Astros won the 2022 MLB World Series.
Mack, an owner of Gallery Furniture and a beloved figure in the Houston community, won big on the Astros after spreading his wagers out among several sportsbooks — taking some of that money home in a wheelbarrow.
“This man is a legend,” Verlander said. “He is hysterical. He tells some incredible stories, and he has an incredible story himself — the generosity in this city, what he’s done with the Houston Astros and the money he has won … is truly incredible. So this one is a blast.”
Here’s what Mack had to say about both Houston and his big win!
Verlander: When did you start betting on the Astros?
Mattress Mack: “Way back in 2017, about the only place you could legally bet sports was [Las] Vegas, of course, or New Jersey, so I didn’t bet a futures bet like I did this year. I bet per game, per series. … I had to fly [around] and bet on the individual series, individual games, which was much more difficult than betting 10-1 on the Series back in June.”
V: Do you have to go to multiple different places, or is there one place saying, ‘We’ll take all your bets!’?
MM: “Caesars [Sports] takes a lot of big bets, so back in June, they had the Astros at 10-1, and [other casinos] had the Astros at 12-1. I’m not a genius, but I figured out the Astros won the American League Championship Series five out of the last five years, and they had a good chance of making it this year. I bet $1 million dollars to win $12 [million], and I bet $3 million to win $30 [million] at Caesars, and that got the ball rolling. … Ended up with $75 million in legal bets … and almost all the money is going back to the customers. It [has] been a great ride and a lot of fun … watching your brother (Justin Verlander) and the Astros win all these games.”
V: I recently saw one of the coolest videos I think that has ever graced the Internet, which is you with a wheelbarrow rolling your money over to a plane. How much was in that wheelbarrow?
MM: “That was a payout from MGM. … They paid $10 million dollars. … It looked cool wheeling that money to the plane, but the only problem was the money was so heavy that it popped the front tire!”
V: Have the Astros worked with you back and forth over the years?
MM: “The Astros are the best sports partner you can find. … One thing about an Astros game, you go there [and] you see people of all races, all colors, all creeds and everybody’s wearing orange and blue. We forget about our divisiveness … and we all pull together for the Houston Astros. It’s a great community.”
V: What is one thing this offseason that you would like to see the Houston Astros do?
MM: “Re-sign your brother!”