I got some bad news for Essential Quality bettors. One notorious furniture store operator in Houston is prepared to take away any potential value on the Kentucky Derby favorite.
Known in Texas simply as “Mattress Mack,” Jim McIngvale often ties his furniture store promotions with sporting events. Most recently his customers received money back on their purchase if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl. To ensure it wasn’t a complete loss, he hedged his promo by placing a $3.4 million hedge bet on Tampa Bay, winning $2.67 million on the wager.
This spring Gallery Furniture customers that purchase more than $3,000 in furniture will receive their money back if the Kentucky Derby favorite wins the race. Mack told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he plans on making a wager between $2-4 million on this year’s favorite Essential Quality to hedge the bet. The single bet could be large enough to drive the price down up to a point (i.e. from 3-1 to 2-1) by post time.
“The favorite has won six of the last seven Kentucky Derbies run on the first Saturday in May. So the customers have an 85 percent chance of winning,” Mack said. “My dilemma as a gambler is how to feed money into the pari-mutuel pool without killing the odds.”
It sounds like a genius idea, but it hasn’t always worked out for Mattress Mack. Prior to this year’s Super Bowl win, he lost $1 million on the Houston Cougars in the Final Four and $13 million on the Houston Astros in the 2019 World Series.