The 2017 World Series is one of the best ever from a fan-fare perspective, with the Houston Astros beating the LA Dodgers in seven games. But it was an even bigger World Series from a betting perspective thanks to two amazing stories.
Let’s cover these stories, including a $10 million mattress promotion gone wrong and a gambler winning $14 million. We’ll also discuss how betting records fell during this year’s World Series.
Houston’s Gallery Furniture Makes a Losing $10 Million Bet
Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture, offered an unbelievable promotion during the World Series. He guaranteed a refund on any mattress purchase over $3,000 if the Astros won the World Series. The deal was so good that it brought people out of the woodwork to purchase expensive mattresses.
“It’s one of the most expensive purchases I’ve ever made,” attorney Barry McFadden told ESPN after purchasing a $13k Tempur-Pedic bed. “But I figured I was getting outstanding value, given that it was basically a $13,000 free play, since I was going to buy it anyway.
“Plus, [McIngvale’s] efforts after [Hurricane] Harvey were just unbelievable. So we decided to buy one from him, because of everything he’s done.”
McFadden was also one of many mattress purchasers who considered hedging their purchase by wagering on the Dodgers. In McFadden’s case, he wanted to bet $5,000 on the LA Dodgers in case the Astros lost.
Mattress Mack ended up getting burned for $10 million in refunds when Houston pulled out a 5-1 victory in Game 7. McIngvale hedged his bets by wagering a combined $1 million on the Aststros winning at “four or five” Vegas sportsbooks.
Given that Houston won, he at least recouped one-tenth of his $10 million loss. Of course, he also got the mattresses at wholesale value and will only take a $10 million loss in terms of retail value.
Despite losing out on his mattress promotion, McIngvale is taking everything in stride. He plans on hosting a refund party at his store in December.
“I’m just so happy for the city and for the Astros,” he said. “After the hurricane, we needed this.”
Bettor X Wins $14 Million on World Series
Last week, we discussed a mysterious bettor nicknamed “Sir Let It Ride,” who won $14 million by betting on six World Series games. He went 6-for-6 and let his winnings ride each time. Allegedly an Eastern European man around 30 years old, he decided not to bet on Game 7 after earning the $14 million profit.
Little is known about the lucky winner. But reporters did find that he’s normally a strong UFC bettor who hadn’t wagered on baseball in the past. He won 11 straight UFC bets from September through the first weekend of October. And the anonymous man won yet another 6 straight on the World Series.
Bettor X notably increased his wagers after each game as the World Series moved along. By Game 6, he put $8 million on the Dodgers (-126) to win. Sometimes Bettor X would just give his winning ticket back to the sportsbook and let his full winnings ride.
The man also took any odds he could get on occasion. For example, he made five separate bets on the Dodgers in Game 4 at odds of +110, +105, even money, -105, and -110. Bettor X risked $400,000 combined by making these wagers.
“He just wanted to get down on certain games,” said Johnny Avello, executive director of the Wynn race and sports. “He didn’t care what the number was. He just wanted to get down. And he just didn’t lose.”
“The market price would be -110, and the guy would be laying -140” said Jason Simbal, vice president of risk at CG Technology. “And the guy would be laying -140.” Bettor X made wagers as large as $800,000 across several sportsbooks for Game 6.
“We have thresholds that we’re willing to take risk to,” Simbal explained. “We have a general idea about how much money we’ll be able to get back on the other side, so we were giving him as much as we could to get us to that number.”
Bettor X’s action helped to boost the amount of money being wagered on the World Series. For instance, CG Technology took $1 million in bets on Game 6 – more than double what they handled for Game 7 of the Cubs-Indians World Series. And it’s little secret why with how much Bettor X was risking around town.
“I remember guys going on runs before, but not to this extent,” said Avello.
Biggest World Series Ever in Terms of Betting
Bettor X wasn’t the only person who made the 2017 World Series a memorable one. Many other people wagered on this event, making it the most heavily-bet World Series of all time.
“I had myself in some really terrific spots, just great, great positions,” Avello said about the Wynn’s lines. “Unfortunately, I didn’t win any of them.”
CG Technology also suffered, losing six-figure amounts on the first six games. Other sportsbooks reported losing millions of dollars over the entire series.
“It was an ugly, ugly World Series,” Avello said.
We won’t know the official betting numbers until the end of November. But it’s likely that tens of millions were bet at Nevada sportsbooks, and much more was wagered at online sportsbooks. Avello said that he’s never seen this much money bet on a World Series in his 30+ years in Vegas.
It’ll definitely be difficult for next year’s World Series to top what happened this year. After all, the perfect storm of events happened, including the mattress deal that created bet hedging along with Bettor X’s massive action.