Is A Houston Millionaire Betting $5M-Plus On Astros Via FanDuel Sportsbook?

Posted By Grant Lucas on September 16, 2019
Astros World Series betting odds

It appears “Mattress Mack” may be at it again.

The Houston furniture retailer, real name Jim McIngvale, may be behind a potential massive wager in New Jersey. So massive, in fact, that a request has been made to the state’s regulatory body to allow such a bet.

FanDuel Sportsbook confirmed to TheLines on Monday that it has filed a petition requesting the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement waive the state’s $5 million cap for a customer.

Who would bet big on the Astros at FanDuel?

Taking the Astros to win the World Series is not exactly a daring play. FanDuel favors Houston to win its second title in three years, listing the Astros at +220 to do just that.

Of course, it is possible the bet could be on Houston to win the American League Championship Series. The Astros sit at -120 in that category. But smart money says it is on the Astros to win it all.

As for who would make such a bold bet, one culprit comes to mind as a good guess.

He goes by the name of Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, a furniture retailer in Houston. When the Astros won the World Series in 2017, McIngvale reportedly refunded more than $13 million to customers who participated in the win-it-all promotion. He has brought it back for 2019.

McIngvale also lost $7 million on his store’s promotion in 2014 when the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl. He did not apparently hedge that bet in Las Vegas.

It seems logical Mattress Mack might need a financial backstop should Houston pull it off yet again. A big bet in New Jersey could help. And FanDuel Sportsbook would probably love the PR that comes with facilitating the bet.

Astro-nomical wager request in NJ

The Houston Astros are mentioned in conjunction with the petition in NJ. However, few other details are available regarding the nature of the bet, including if this wager would be made at the FanDuel retail sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack or via its online sportsbook.

That said, it appears this bettor — we have no confirmation if it is in fact McIngvale — is willing to write a fat check, if the title of the petition is any indication:

“Division’s Approval For A Waiver On The $5 Million Cap On A Wager And Confirm Our Understanding Of The Treatment Of The Wager Itself And The Potential Payout On A State Gaming Tax basis.”

Note the request for the $5 million cap to be waived. This certainly indicates that the bettor is willing to go over that total.

FanDuel petitioned the DGE, as the regulatory body explicitly states that “(n)o wager in excess of $5 million can be accepted for any reason.”

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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sports writer who has covered the high school, collegiate and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield and Oregon State athletics, the Portland Trail Blazers and golf.

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