Mattress Mack

Jim McIngvale, known as Mattress Mack, opens up his stores to refugees during storms in south Texas, in addition to spreading his good luck around when he cashes in on big-dollar sports bets. Colorado causes are the beneficiaries, too.

Colorado water projects can thank Mattress Mack, and Mattress Mack can thank, or curse, Proposition DD.

The Washington Post reported Saturday morning that the Houston furniture king Jim McIngvale — the Jake Jabs of south Texas — depended on Denver for his latest generous-but-expensive bet.

“Mattress Mack,” as he's known, is betting on Houston to win it all in men's college basketball championship against 9 to 1 odds. The Post reported he flew to Colorado, where voters legalized sports betting in 2019, because Texas won't take the action legally.

That means that somewhere in this state, one of numerous licensees is on the hook for $9 million, if Houston keeps shaking up the Big Dance. 

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That also means Colorado's waterways and water users stand to benefit by $900,000.

And that some Texans might get free furniture.

The second-seeded Cougars (26-3) are set to play Syracuse, the bracket's 11th seed, Saturday night in the NCAA championship's Sweet 16.

He can thank Coloradans for taking his action. Colorado voters passed Proposition DD, which put a 10% tax on the gains of gambling to pay for the state's long-range water plan. 

Proposition DD was put on the ballot by the legislature when the bipartisan House Bill 1327. It passed the General Assembly with ease, but the ballot question the next November limped across the finish line, passing narrowly.

This isn't his first rodeo in the Rockies.

McIngvale flew to Colorado Springs in February to lay down a bet that won him $6.18 million when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl.

The same year Colorado voters were considering whether to pass Proposition DD, Mattress Mack was putting more than $13 million on the Houston Astros to win the World Series. Tough luck: The Washington Nationals beat the Astros in Game 7 in Houston.

Had his bet paid off, the furniture store owner said he would give refunds for purchases in his stores than topped $3,000.

Two years before that, in 2017, McIngvale paid off $10 million in mattresses after the Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the series.

His charitable donations are lengthy, including providing food and using his stores as storm shelters, including for freezing Texans during last month's cold-driven blackouts, according to accounts.

"Jim 'Mattress Mack' McIngvale has always believed in God, country, family, and hard work," begins his online bio.

“We’ll do some sort of promotion,” Mack told Action Network's Darren Rovell of his potential Colorado payoff. “Maybe if they win the first [Final Four] game, you get 50% off your purchases and if they win the second, the title game, you get 100% off.”

Colorado Politics senior political reporter

Joey Bunch is the senior correspondent and deputy managing editor of Colorado Politics. His 32-year career includes the last 16 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and he is a two-time finalist.

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