December 11, 2023

Jim McIngvale, better known to Houston and the world as “Mattress Mack,” is being revered on social media as an Astros hero after a clip of an altercation with a Philles fan went viral. But before the Gallery Furniture owner was celebrated as the Houston Astros’ unofficial mascot, he was known for his over-the-top furniture commercials and promotion deals, and subsequent multimillion-dollar sports hedge bets. 

Here’s everything you need to know about Mattress Mack.

The king of ‘free, free, free’ promotions

Many Houstonians associate Ingavale’s store with its “Free, Free, Free” furniture deals usually dependent upon an Astros win or other major sporting events. While many Houstonians first learned of the promotions as the Astros pushed for their first-ever championship, they actually began before the 2017 World Series, when customers whose purchases exceeded $3,000 cashed in and Gallery Furniture gave out more than $10 million in refunds.

In 2014, the Houston-based company offered free furniture to the first 500 customers who spent $6,300 or more at Gallery Furniture if the Astros won at least 63 games in the regular season. The customers also won that time, as the Astros went 70-92 during George Springer’s rookie season.

Mack’s sports betting enthusiasm 

Over the past five months, McIngvale has wagered $10 million on the Astros to win the World Series. He’s placed a few multimillion dollar bets, some with odds as high as 10-to-1, and others, later in the summer when the Astros were starting to roll at just 5-to-1. If the Astros do indeed win the second World Series in franchise history, McIngvale will pocket $75 million.

Political endorsements

Aside from his influence in the furniture and betting industry, Mack is no stranger to endorsing political candidates, consistently voting in the Republican primary, according to voting records.

He has previously endorsed a host of Republicans such as Congressman John Culberson in 2018 according to KHOU 11, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush in 2018, and Pierce Bush in the for Texas’ 22nd congressional district in 2020, according to the Fort Bend Independent. McIngvale has  surprised some by endorsing some Democratic candidates like Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg for her second term in 2020 and  Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner for his second term in 2019.

The majority of these candidates went on to win their respective races.

This campaign season he stepped out as one of the early supporters of Republican candidate for Harris County judge, Alexandra del Moral Mealer, donating $448,000 last month towards her campaign to unseat first-term incumbent Lina Hidalgo. 

Philanthropy and work in the Houston community

Besides giving away free furniture, Mack prides himself on giving back to Houston and the community when there is a charitable need. In the past he’s worked on special projects like helping to build the first Mobile Stroke Unit in the USA, for patients in Houston, as well as raise millions for the Bush-Clinton Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund.

He was among many community leaders to aid in relief for Hurricane Ida survivors by organizing a donation site at Gallery Furniture to collect items like toiletries, bottle water, pet food and non-perishable food. He’s teamed up with Crime Stoppers over the summer to help keep kids safe citing an uptick in crime.

This summer, Mack also surprised a U.S. Army staff sergeant, who was severely wounded in Afghanistan in 2007, with $20,000 in new furniture to complete the trifecta of major gifts the solider had already received, including a mortgage-free house and a lot to build the house on from Operation FINALLY HOME and Howard Hughes Corporation.

More recently, he treated the Pearland Little Leaguers to an Astros game and donated $20,000, and Mack teamed up with the Astros and former Astros shortstop Carlos Correa to honor a Uvalde victim and her family with a new home. 


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