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  1. James Franklin McIngvale was born in Starkville, Mississippi, in 1951. Sports was in his blood from the start, as his dad, George, was a star football player at Mississippi State University. McIngvale's family moved to Dallas when he was a boy and he eventually went on to the University of Texas and then the University of North Texas, where he played football for both universities in the late 1960s and early 1970s. After dropping out before finishing his degree, McIngvale claims to have gotten his big break when he was fired from a job at a convenience store. While this would be discouraging to most, that termination allowed McIngvale to take work at a Dallas furniture store, where he learned the ins and outs of the industry. Inspired to open his own shop, he moved to Houston with his wife, Linda, and opened the first Gallery Furniture in 1981. After appearing in several Gallery Furniture TV commercials while dressed in a flimsy-looking mattress costume, McIngvale earned the nickname "Mattress Mack." Today, McIngvale's empire includes three Gallery Furniture locations in the Houston area, including a massive 165,000-square-foot store in Fort Bend County that houses a 30,000-gallon saltwater aquarium, tropical birds, exotic animals and a giant jumping mattress. read more: https://www.chron.com/culture/article/mattress-mack-17740613.php
  2. INSTEAD OF A bank vault or a Brink's truck, the betting slips from what could be the largest payout in sports gambling history are being guarded by nothing more than an old, tattered Houston Astros backpack. On a recent Tuesday afternoon in Houston, with the MLB playoffs about to begin, the faded blue nylon bag -- its contents worth potentially millions -- sits on the floor of the massive Gallery Furniture showroom, just within arm's reach of its owner: the Houston furniture magnate and Astros superfan Jim McIngvale, better known around these parts and in the world of high-stakes sports gambling as Mattress Mack. Lanky and seemingly equal parts ears, teeth, cowboy boots and charisma, McIngvale has been a household name in Houston for decades thanks to his wacky TV commercials and his Ross Perot delivery. "I just have what you might call a high tolerance for risk," McIngvale says. "Damon Runyon said 'All horse players die broke.' And I know I shouldn't bet with my heart, but it's hard not to and it's a lot more fun." In 2017, McIngvale gained national attention for opening his doors and sheltering hundreds of victims of Hurricane Harvey for weeks inside his furniture showroom, something he also did after Hurricane Katrina years prior. After the storm, as the Astros continued their historic run to the 2017 World Series, McIngvale was in the news yet again, this time for an only-in-Texas furniture promotion through which anyone who bought a mattress from Gallery Furniture would get it for free if the Astros won it all. https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34870415/houston-astros-superfan-mattress-mack-lose-no-matter-wins-world-series
  3. For some sports gamblers, betting on the Super Bowl coin toss is about as good as the odds can get. But for , Jim McIngvale the Houston furniture mogul known as “Mattress Mack,” placing multi-million-dollar wagers on the big game and other marquee sporting events offers a different strategy—heads I win, tails I win. For years, McIngvale, who owns the three-store chain Gallery Furniture, has made his headline-grabbing wagers not for gambling glory, but as sensible hedges against his big sales promotions. During the Super Bowl, March Madness, the World Series, and other events, Mack will place a giant bet on one team—either a Texas club or one closest geographically to his home state—and offer customers a full refund if they win. During this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, for example, he wagered $5.5 million on Kansas and ran a promotion to refund all customers who spent $3,000 or more on certain types of mattresses and furniture if the Jayhawks won. Right after Kansas beat the University of North Carolina on Monday night, Mack and his 20-person sales team received a stream of text messages from their customers: We won! We won! “When does a furniture salesman get a text at midnight from a customer?” McIngvale asks. One customer bought seven mattresses for a total of $38,000 and another bought $40,000 worth of furniture to outfit a new home. “I’ve always heard about his promotions on the news, but I never needed furniture until now,” says Robert Cruz, who has a new house full of new, free furniture. “When I heard the score I said, ‘Wow. That’s cool.” Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/willyakowicz/2022/04/06/mattress-mack-jim-mcingvale-sports-bets-march-madness-super-bowl/?sh=75b1d2eb5264
  4. Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale is a businessman from Texas who owns and operates the Gallery Furniture retail chain. Mattress Mack has become sort of an internet sensation for the exceptionally large wagers he places on sporting contests, most recently with his record-setting total $9.5 million dollar bet on the Cincinnati Bengals to win Super Bowl LVI. Not only is Mack notoriously famous for gambling gigantic sums on sports contests in his personal life, but he uses a similar approach in his business. Mack offered Gallery Furniture customers a full “reimbursement to those who spent $3,000 or more” on furniture from popular brands like Sealy, and Tempur-Pedic if the Bengals were to win. He also has run this same promotion for the Astros in the past. Unfortunately, Mack lost his massive bet when the Bengals lost Super Bowl LVI, but as a result did not have to reimburse customers. Mack played football himself in college for the University of North Texas. Coming out of college, Mack and his wife moved to Houston to run the furniture store that started “as a small business” and eventually grew to the $200 million annual business it is today. At the start of their business venture, Mack and his wife used to sleep in the store, and Mack, as a last resort when initially struggling financially, invested his last $10,000 to air a TV commercial. The commercial became a huge success when Mack spoke at a rapid-fire pace to get his whole message to fit in the 25 seconds allotted. At the very end of the Gallery Furniture advertisement, Mack exclaimed, “We will save you money!” The slogan “save you money!” stuck to this day and so did McIngvale’s nickname, Mattress Mack. Read more: http://thecollegevoice.org/2022/02/28/the-legend-of-mattress-mack/
  5. Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale has placed another exorbitant gamble on a Houston sports team. This time, it's $1 million on the Houston Cougars winning the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. The odds of the furniture owner's wager sat at 9-1 odds, meaning he would win $9 million if the hometown program can come through for him. He made the gamble with DraftKings, and the organization says that it's one of the largest March Madness bets on record. "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, per KPRC 2. read more: https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/mattress-mack-places-1-million-bet-on-houston-to-win-2021-ncaa-tournament/
  6. http://www.kvue.com/mobile/article/news/local/houston-icon-turned-his-furniture-stores-into-shelters/269-468828758 (Whoops meant to put in Eagles Nest)
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