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Mattress Mack Bets a Million Bucks on Hometown Houston to Win NCAA tournament

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale is at it again, placing a seven-figure wager that the Houston Cougars will win the NCAA’s men’s basketball tournament.  

We’ve previously written about how his big sports bets are a masterclass in marketing, and now ESPN Chalk reports that McIngvale flew from Texas to Colorado and bet $1 million that the University of Houston Cougars would win the NCAA tournament. The bet was offered at 9-1 odds, so if McIngvale wins this bet he would make around $9 million.

As a reminder, this isn’t Mack’s first go-round. 

  • In 2019, he bet $13 million on the Houston Astros to win the World Series and lost. That meant he had to give customers a full refund on all mattress purchases more than $3,000, as per his store promotion.
  • He hosted a similar promotion for the 2021 Super Bowl, offering the same proposition to his customers if the Tampa Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs. Mack lost his $3.46 million bet when the Buccaneers won the game.

For the NCAA wager, he doesn’t have a promotion running at the store currently, but that could change. He reportedly told ESPN that he made the bet in part because he was thinking about starting one. That way, he would already be hedged against it.

“I wanted to get ahead of it in case I decided to do a promotion,” McIngvale told ESPN. “After looking at the bracket, I think U of H has as good [a chance] as anybody to make it through the Final Four, so it’s an exciting time for all of Houston.”

For more information on which teams will play in the final showdown, visit

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