Largest Derby Wager Ever? Mattress Mack Plans To Bet At Least $2 Million On Essential Quality

James McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture Stores, has launched a company promotion titled: “Kentucky Derby Fave Wins, You Win,” in which customers purchasing a mattress valued at over $3,000 will get their money back if Essential Quality wins Saturday’s Run For the Roses at Churchill Downs.

To cover his liability for the promotion, “Mattress Mack” told the Thoroughbred Daily News he plans to make at least a $2 million wager on Essential Quality to win the Kentucky Derby, and could bet as much as $4 million.

“In this day and age of Amazon, we bricks and mortar guys have to do something to be different, something to stand out,” McIngvale told the TDN. “When it gets closer to the race I will figure out how many mattresses we have sold, add up the total, and then I’ll figure out how much to bet on the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby. It’s going to be great for the other people too because it will make the other 19 horses a better value than they would be if I hadn’t made a big bet.”

The TDN reports that the 2019 Kentucky Derby win pool (the last time the race was run on the first Saturday in May) had $41.8 million bet into it. A $2 million wager would account for approximately five percent of that pool, certainly lowering the odds on the favorite. For example, that year’s 4-1 favorite, Improbable, had $6.9 million wagered on him to win.

Read more at the Thoroughbred Daily News.

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