Jessica Hill/Associated Press
DraftKings announced Saturday that a Houston furniture store mogul placed a $1 million bet on the University of Houston to win the 2021 NCAA men’s college basketball tournament.
DraftKings noted that the bet will pay out a total of $10 million ($9 million in profit) if the Cougars win it all at 9-1 odds:
The bet was placed by Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, who owns Gallery Furniture stores in the Houston area and is well known for placing huge sports bets.
In February, McIngvale bet $3.46 million on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win Super Bowl LV. The Bucs beat the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9, netting him $2.75 million in profit.
Per Darren Rovell of The Action Network, Mattress Mack said he flew on his plane from Houston to Denver on Friday night in order to place the $1 million bet on the Cougars on the DraftKings mobile betting app, and then flew back home.
Mattress Mack had to fly out of Texas since mobile sports betting is not legal in the state.
When asked why he decided to place the bet through DraftKings, Mattress Mack said:”DraftKings had the best number at 9-1 and they were willing to take the full amount.”
Mattress Mack is known for tying the fate of Houston-area sports teams into promotions at his furniture stores, and he plans to do the same with the Houston men’s basketball team.
McIngvale said the bet is a hedge against a Final Four promotion he plans to run if the Cougs make it that far. Should that happen, he plans to give patrons 50 percent off purchases if Houston wins in the Final Four and 100 percent off if the team wins the national championship.
Houston is a No. 2 seed by virtue of its 26-3 record this season, and it has already beaten Cleveland State and Rutgers en route to the Sweet 16.
The Cougars will face the 11th-seeded Syracuse Orange on Saturday for a spot in the Elite Eight, where they would take on either No. 8 Loyola Chicago or No. 12 Oregon State for a spot in the Final Four.
Houston has never won a national title, although it has lost in the Final Four five times and the National Championship Game twice, but not since 1984.
For all the latest betting information and reaction, check out B/R Betting.