DENVER (KDVR) — Anyone who has ever gambled knows that you win some and you lose some.
However, no one has experienced the highs and lows of sports betting quite like Jim McIngvale.
McIngvale, who owns several furniture stores in the Houston area, is better known as ‘Mattress Mack’ amongst his customers. In 2019, he lost $13 million when he bet on his hometown Astros in the World Series.
That didn’t deter him, however, from placing a $3.46 million bet on the underdog Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past weekend. He won, netting about $6.2 million.
“It was the second largest bet in Super Bowl history. I was only $400,000 short, and if I would have known that I would have bet the $400,000,” he explained.
McIngvale flew to Colorado Springs last Friday to place his huge wager because sports betting isn’t legal in the state of Texas.
He was in Colorado less than an hour. He placed the bet on his phone and then flew back home to Houston.
McIngvale’s winnings aren’t as large as they sound. He hedged his bet by offering a promotion at his furniture stores. If customers opted into the promotion and purchased furniture, they would receive a refund if the Bucs won the Super Bowl. About a thousand customers will now get free furniture.
McIngvale’s big bet accounted for about 10% of all bets wagered in Colorado Super Bowl Weekend. Around $30 million dollars was wagered statewide.
Like McIngvale, many betters actually won on the big game.
“The consumer did a little better than the book,” said Dan Hartman, Director of the Colorado Division of Gaming.
The state of Colorado doesn’t track how many people like McIngvale travel to Colorado to wager on games, but Hartman says sports gambling does draw tourists to Colorado, especially from surrounding states where it’s not legal.
“It shows the market is good here. We have a lot of people that have faith in it,” Hartman said.
Hartman says more than $1.1 billion in wagers were placed in Colorado in 2020, during the state’s first year of legal sports betting.
After winning $6.2 million, McIngvale says he’ll be back to bet again. Only time will tell when he’ll return.
“Maybe the Nuggets? NBA finals? That would be a good one,” he said.