The Houston Astros and Atlanta began the World Series on Tuesday, and one man has arguably as much riding on the series as the players and coaches. In June, Houston-based business owner Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale used the William Hill mobile app to bet $2 million (+1000) on the Astros to win the World Series, which would payout $22 million -- the largest amount in U.S. sports betting history -- if successful.
McIngvale, who threw out the first pitch to rapper Bun B before Game 1 of the ALDS at Minute Maid Park, made the bets to hedge for his "Astros Win" promotion. The promotion allows Gallery Furniture (a store McIngvale owns) mattress buyers who spent $3,000 or more to get their money back if the Astros win it all.
McIngvale told the Action Network his liability is $20 million, so his William Hill bet would cover it and then some.
But the William Hill bet wasn't the only one McIngvale made. In June, he bet a combined $1.25 million across three other sportsbooks on an Astros World Series win, which would raise his overall payout from all the bets to a whopping $35.6 million.
With those numbers in mind, the executives at Caesars -- which bought William Hill for $3.7 billion in September -- may need a few of McIngvale's mattresses to sleep on at night while they sweat out the World Series.
"Obviously the Astros would be the worst-case scenario," Caesars vice president Craig Mucklow told the Action Network after the bets were place in June. "This is the first time I've seen something like this wager in the futures market. It's an exciting bet to take, but it would be nice if they got knocked out early."
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