‘Mattress Mack’ Making Own March Madness With $1 Million Bet On Houston To Win NCAA Tournament


“Mattress Mack” is at it again, and Colorado is again his sports betting location of choice.

Houston businessman Jim McIngvale, aka Mattress Mack, owner of the Gallery Furniture chain, flew into Colorado for the second time in two months, this time to place a $1 million wager on 2-seed Houston to win March Madness. McIngvale placed the wager on his DraftKings app in Colorado, as he previously did for Tampa Bay to win the Super Bowl. McIngvale placed a winning $3.46 million bet on Tampa Bay to beat Kansas City in the Super Bowl earlier this year. In 2019, he bet $3.5 million at Mississippi’s Scarlet Pearl Casino on the Astros to win the World Series. (Houston lost to Washington in Game 7, for those who can’t remember the last pre-COVID World Series.)

“Anything can happen in March Madness as we all know, but I’m ten toes down on Houston to bring the national title to Texas, and willing to stake a million dollars with DraftKings on that outcome,” said McIngvale in a statement shared by DraftKings. “DraftKings continues to offer an unparalleled sportsbook experience and has rewarded customers during the opening rounds for underdog picks.”

A Houston title would pay ‘Mack’ $9M

McIngvale stands to win $9 million at 9/1 odds on his March Madness wager. McIngvale placed the bet before Houston won its Sweet Sixteen game against 11-seed Syracuse, 62-46, on Saturday. The Cougars are 31-26 historically in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and this is their 22nd appearance. Houston has never won the tournament but did get to the final twice, in 1983 and 1984.

Houston on Monday night will play one of the tournament’s two current Cinderellas, 12-seed Oregon State, which so far has beaten 5-seed Tennessee, 4-seed Oklahoma State, and 8-seed Loyola-Chicago.

The next lowest seed still playing is 11-seed UCLA, which after winning a First Four game against Michigan State has knocked out 6-seed BYU, 14-seed Abilene Christian, and 2-seed Alabama. The Bruins are set to play 1-seed Michigan Tuesday night.

McIngvale’s wager is the biggest DraftKings has taken on this year’s edition of March Madness, and it is among the largest wagers ever made on the tournament, according to the sportsbook.

“Mack has established himself in the sports betting community with several historic wagers over the years, and we are thrilled to take his latest action on Houston at 9-1 to win the NCAA Tournament,” DraftKings Director of Race and Sports Operations Johnny Avello said in a statement. “Houston has had a fine year and favorable start to the tournament, so we wish Mack the best of luck on his million-dollar bet as these highly entertaining and more advanced stages of March Madness unfold.”

Other big bets that have paid off

According to Yahoo! Sports, through the second round of the tournament, the next biggest wager placed was $330,000 on Alabama at -5 to beat Iona in the opening round. That bet was placed on the BetMGM platform.

Also among the more noteworthy betting wins during the tournament is a $10 wager on a 10-leg parlay by Colorado’s Eli Sawaged, who won $33,000. He also placed his bet at DraftKings.


Jill has covered everything from steeplechase to the NFL and then some during a more than 30-year career in sports journalism. The highlight of her career was covering Oakland Raiders during the Charles Woodson/Jon Gruden era, including the infamous “Snow Bowl” and the Raiders’ 2003 trip to Super Bowl XXXVII. Her specialty these days is covering sports betting legislation across the country.

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