Prince J. Grimes
“Mattress Mack” Jim McIngvale, the Houston-area furniture store mogul known for his incredibly large bets, has been in a bit of losing streak ever since cashing out on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl victory in 2021. And it all started with last year’s Kentucky Derby, when he bet what is believed to be a Derby record $2.4 million on Essential Quality to win and the horse finished fourth.
Undeterred, Mack is returning to the Derby and again betting on whichever horse ends up as the favorite on Saturday. And he’s upping the amount.
“I will be there, and I will be betting with both hands,” Mack said, via the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I’ll be betting probably between $2½ (million) and $3 million on the favorite.”
Mack’s bets are hedges for promotions at his furniture store. This one involves a customer refund of $3,000 or more if the favorite wins the Derby.
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As of Thursday, the best odds are still on the morning line favorite Zandon at 3-to-1, but Epicenter isn’t far behind at 7-to-2. But the way Mack’s bets have turned out, it’s probably best not to be the favorite. In just the last few months, he bet a combined $3.25 million on the Astros to win last year’s World Series, but the Braves won it. Then there was the more than $6 million on Alabama to win the national championship that Georgia ended up capturing. And we can’t forget about the the $9.5 million he put on the Bengals to win the Super Bowl. That didn’t happen either.
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