Houston furniture store owner ‘Mattress Mack’ is ruffling the sheets again in the big event betting market. On the first Saturday in May, Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale plans to be at Churchill Downs and make a multi-million wager on the favorite, Essential Quality to win the Kentucky Derby.
McIngvale is running another promotion at his Gallery Furniture stores. He’s offering a money-back guarantee to anyone who buys a mattress set of $3,000 or more if Kentucky Derby favorite Essential Quality wins.
Mattress Mack Impacting the Kentucky Derby Odds
In the last Kentucky Derby held in May, Maximum Security crossed the finish line first, but was disqualified in a controversial 2019 result. His odds were 9/2 as the second wagering choice to win, and Maximum Security had $6.8 million in win bets in the pari-mutuel pool. Nearly $9 million was bet on Maxiumum Security in the win, place and show pools.
Wagering from all sources on the 2019 Kentucky Derby set an all-time record with $165.5 million bet on the American classic.
So if similar wagering is projected, and you add Matress Mack’s bet on the favorite at similar odds, you can expect to see Essential Quality have post time odds less than 3/1. Churchill Downs opened his morning line odds Tuesday at 2/1. Tiz The Law closed as a 3/5 favorite in the 2020 Kentucky Derby.
Mattress Mack Also Hosting Almost 300 Foster System Guests
Churchill Downs also announced ‘Mattress Mack’ will welcome nearly 300 representatives from Kentucky’s Foster Care sector as guests to the Kentucky Derby. His commitment to Foster Care work was inspired by his recently-adopted grandson, Brodie, in June 2019. His daughter Laura McIngvale Brown and her husband Phil Brown officially welcomed Brodie into their family after serving as foster parents.
“I have seen firsthand the importance of Foster Care and Brodie has been a true joy in my life,” McIngvale told Churchill Downs. “I’m thrilled to partner through Churchill Downs with these Louisville nonprofit organizations that work tirelessly to help children and families thrive. I couldn’t be happier to help provide them the opportunity to enjoy this year’s Kentucky Derby.”
Parimutuel vs Fixed Odds
Betting on individual horse races is different from betting against a sportsbook or casino. Essentially, all the money bet on the big race for the Kentucky Derby is put into one large betting pool comprised of all the money wagered. Winning bets are paid by the racebook or racetrack from the entire pool of money wagered.
The track, in this case Churchill Downs, takes a percentage of the money bet on the Kentucky Derby off the top of the betting pool. The rest of the pool is split among the winning bettors. The track has no invested interest in the winner and result of the race. The rake on win, place and show bets at Churchill Downs is 16-17%.
So take 16% of a $3 million win bet from Mattress Mack, and Churchill Downs is profiting $480,000 right off the top.
Mattress Mack is no stranger to bet bets, like the World Series, or on the Super Bowl where he bet $3.46 million on the Buccaneers on a DraftKings mobile app. Now he’s getting in the saddle and hedging his bets on horse racing and the Sport of Kings. McIngvale owns 57 thoroughbred horses himself. But a $3 million or greater bet on the Kentucky Derby will be the biggest Derby bet ever.