March Madness 2024: Betting Legend Stakes $1M On Surprise Team — See The Payout On A $100 Bet

Zinger Key Points
  • A 2022 bet on the Houston Astros to win the World Series paid out around $75 million.
  • The winner of that bet has a $1 million wager on March Madness and may be betting more.

The 2024 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament kicks off its first round of games on Thursday and will see millions of viewers and billions of dollars wagered during the annual March Madness competition.

One bettor will be closely watching, with $1 million and potentially more on the line.

What Happened: Furniture store owner Jim McIngvale, better known as Mattress Mack, is no stranger to big bets on sports championship outcomes. The bettor has wagered millions of dollars on the Houston Astros, Alabama Football and Houston Basketball to win championships previously.

In 2022, Mattress Mack took home around $75 million from wagering around $10 million on the Houston Astros to win the World Series.

For the 2024 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, Mattress Mack is backing the Houston Cougars to win the championship and has $1 million on the line.

Three weeks ago, Mattress Mack wagered $1 million with Caesars Entertainment CZR on Houston at odds of +750.

Houston is now listed as +550 favorites to win the championship at DraftKings Inc DKNG trailing only favorite Connecticut at odds of +360.

A $100 bet on Houston today would pay out $550 in profit if Houston wins the championship. While that pales in comparison to the $7.5 million Mattress Mack would make with a Houston win, the bet could be a smart one based on data.

Benzinga previously reported that past history shows that NCAA Men's Basketball champions have several things in common. The teams are often ranked top 20 in offensive and defensive efficiency and are often a 1, 2 or 3 seed, with these top seeds winning 33 of the past 38 tournaments.

Houston is one of only three teams (Connecticut, Arizona the others) that fit this criteria as a potential champion.

Despite the $1 million bet, Mattress Mack isn't too worried yet.

"I enjoy the sweat when I win. Losses I forget faster than a goldfish forgets," Mack said, as shared by Fox Sports.

McIngvale places large wagers as hedges against promotions he runs at his Houston furniture store. The promotion during March Madness is any mattress set of $4,000 or more is free if Houston wins the NCAA Championship.  

An additional round of betting from Mattress Mack depends on how his promotion goes.

"The further they go, the more I bet. But it's a double-edged sword. The further they go, the shorter the odds get. That's a gambler's dilemma."


A Houston win could be bad news for Caesars.

"Every game, every futures wager generates an equal sweat for the trading team," Caesars Vice President of Trading Craig Mucklow said.

Analysts at Caesars see the team having a tough path in the South Region of the March Madness bracket, including a matchup against Nebraska or Texas A&M in the second round.

Related Link: March Madness 2024: Betting Odds, How To Watch NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Use Data To Predict Winner

What's Next: The 2024 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament has shared rights between Warner Bros. Discovery WBD and Paramount Global PARAPARAA.

The games will be broadcast on Warner's TBS, TNT and truTV along with Paramount's CBS. Games will also be streamed on Warner's Max platform and Paramount's Paramount+.

The Final Four (April 6) and Championship (April 8) games will be aired on TBS.

Read Next: March Madness Indeed: Here’s How Much A $100 Bet On 2023 Final Four Would Have Paid Out

Image created using artificial intelligence with Midjourney.

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Posted In: Sports BettingSportsTop StoriesbasketballJim McIngvaleMarch MadnessMattress MackNCAANCAA Men's Basketball TournamentStories That Matter
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