In this video clip from "The Morning Show" on Motley Fool Live, recorded on Feb. 14, Fool.com analyst Sanmeet Deo, Director of Small Cap Research Bill Mann, and advisor Jim Mueller share a quick story about Houston businessman Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale and his recent Super Bowl bet.
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Sanmeet Deo: My number of the day is five million. That is the legal sports betting record wager that was placed on the game by Jim McIngvale, better known as Mattress Mack. For any of those BFOFs that are in Houston, possibly all of Texas, but mostly Houston would know mattress Mack as the guy that owns Gallery Furniture, has a bunch of commercials on local television.
Bill Mann: Didn't they have a bowl game for a while? The Gallery Furniture Bowl, wasn't that a thing?
Deo: Maybe, yeah. He's a huge Houston sports fan. He's also a huge bettor. He placed a $5 million dollar wager on the Cincinnati Bengals, the single-largest legal sports spending bet ever. The previous was $4.9 million on the Super Bowl in 2002. He could have won $16.2 million had he won the bet? He did not win the bet. That's the other thing because I was talking to Jim about it, the spread was 4.5 for the Rams, and that wasn't covered. I don't know how he bet but interesting thing is, last week he drove across the Texas-Louisiana border to place the bet.
Jim Mueller: In a state where it's legal.
Deo: Because Texas doesn't have legal sports betting or any gambling, I think, and he's done this before.
Mueller: They have gambling. [laughs]
Deo: Not legal gambling, I should have said.
Mann: They probably have dueling in Texas. [laughs]
Mueller: Gambling on the outcomes of those, right?
Deo: Of course. [laughs] There's people in the saloon betting on who's going to draw first and things like that. Yes, they definitely have that. I know, I lived in Texas. [laughs] What was it? It was interesting too that he said that he wages on sports as an insurance hedge for sales promotions he runs to draw customers into his store. The current promotion promises a refund of purchases on more than $3,000 if the Bengals win the Super Bowl. [laughs] It's kind of an interesting insurance hedge. [laughs] I think there might be better hedges.
Mueller: Probably cheaper insurance.
Deo: Cheaper insurance but he's a betting guy in general. He lost $3.25 million on the Astros and the World Series last year, $6 million dollars on Alabama winning the college football championship. I don't know what his net worth is to be making these massive bets. He must have won plenty of them too but I thought that was interesting. There's supposedly, I think, a record amount of sports betting that occurred for the game because it's been legalized so much, New York. New Jersey has been legalized for a long time. It probably set a record for sports wagering in general.