Jim McIngvale
McIngvale in 2018
Born
James Franklin McIngvale

(1951-02-11) February 11, 1951 (age 73)
NationalityAmerican
Other names"Mattress Mack"
Alma materNorth Texas State University
OccupationBusinessman
Known forGallery Furniture and placing large bets on sports teams in Texas
SpouseLinda McIngvale
Children4
WebsiteGalleryFurniture.com
The main Gallery Furniture store in the Northside
Gallery Furniture store in Uptown

James Franklin McIngvale (born February 11, 1951), also known as "Mattress Mack", is an American businessman. He is known for owning and operating the Gallery Furniture retail chain, based in Houston, Texas.

Early life and education

McIngvale was born on February 11, 1951, in Starkville, Mississippi. He graduated from Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas, attended the University of Texas at Austin , and later attended North Texas State University, now University of North Texas, in Denton where he played football at both.[1] [2]

Business career

McIngvale is best known for his energetic, fast-paced sales pitches, typically ending with some variant of his catchphrase "saves you money!" His distinctive sales style originated from an incident that occurred early on in Gallery Furniture's history. Faced with financial difficulties, McIngvale invested all his remaining money, approximately $10,000, in a television commercial to be aired on two Houston stations. While watching the commercial being produced, he became dissatisfied and ad-libbed a sales pitch, speaking rapidly because of the limited amount of time available. The commercial proved very effective, and his sales increased dramatically afterward.[3] In 1999, McIngvale spoke to the British Deming Association annual conference about the influence of W. Edwards Deming on his business methods.[4]

McIngvale co-authored the book Always Think Big with Thomas Duening and John Ivancevich, which was published in 2002, and chronicles the ups and downs of his entrepreneurial career.[5]

In May 2009, the Houston Chronicle reported that McIngvale refused to pay $48,000 in taxes to the Greater Northside Management District that were assessed from 2005 to 2007. He did, however, pay taxes to the district in 2008. His Northside facility is within the district's boundary. McIngvale said the management district does not do enough to maintain the area, he described the management district's taxation policies as "taxation without representation." The district sued McIngvale to try to force him to pay the taxes, and McIngvale said he was willing to dispute the charges in court.[6]

Philanthropic efforts

In August 2017, McIngvale opened his stores to people affected by Harvey, a hurricane that flooded the city.[7]

When Tropical Storm Imelda flooded Houston in 2019, McIngvale once again opened the doors of Gallery Furniture and partnered with Crisis Clean Up to provide free meals and shelter at the North Freeway location.[8]

During the 2021 Texas power crisis and winter storms, McIngvale allowed people to shelter from the cold and spend the night at Gallery Furniture.[9] Also in 2021, in the wake of evacuation and destruction due to Hurricane Ida which hit the Gulf Coast (and particularly Louisiana and New Orleans), McIngvale began to shelter Louisianan residents at Gallery Furniture as well as provide warm meals and amenities for free. He also organized a supply donation drive and caravan into south Louisiana to deliver supplies to the area.[10] In 2024, he did it again.[citation needed]

Political donations and positions

McIngvale has primarily donated to Republican candidates for office including Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Lauren Boebert and Madison Cawthorn.[11]

In 2010, McIngvale supported the Tea Party movement.[12] He funded full-page ads for the Tea Party that appeared in the Houston Chronicle. He was a guest speaker along with many local conservative radio hosts for The North Houston Tea Party Patriots at Sam Houston Race Park.[13]

During the 2015 Houston mayor's race, McIngvale endorsed conservative candidate Bill King over Sylvester Turner.[14] Turner won the election.

In 2018, McIngvale endorsed the reelection of Republican U.S. Representative John Culberson and appeared in commercials supporting the congressman.[15] Culberson lost the election to Lizzie Fletcher. In February 2020, after endorsing Bill King for mayor in 2015, McIngvale endorsed the reelection of Democratic mayor, Sylvester Turner.[citation needed] During the 2022 Texas Attorney General election, McIngvale backed unsuccessful challenger George P. Bush against incumbent Ken Paxton.[16]

Governor Greg Abbott named McIngvale to the Strike Force to Open Texas – a group "tasked with finding safe and effective ways to slowly reopen the state" amid the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020.[17]

After Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election, McIngvale did not issue payouts to customers, who correctly predicted that Biden would win. Speculation emerged that McIngvale had concerns about voter fraud in the 2020 election. However, in January 2021, two months after the election, McIngvale sent out checks to those who predicted Biden would win. He said the delay was due to the fact he believed the results of the election could change, but conceded those odds were always "very small."[18]

Personal life

McIngvale and his wife, Linda, have four children. He lives in the Northgate Forest community in an unincorporated area of Harris County, Texas. Ericka Mellon of the Houston Chronicle said that he was "one of Northgate's most recognizable residents."[19]

In 1992, McIngvale and his wife were executive producers of the action-comedy film Sidekicks starring Chuck Norris and Jonathan Brandis;[20] and in return Norris did several television advertising commercials for Gallery Furniture, owned by Jim and Linda. In June 2019, McIngvale suffered a possible transient ischemic attack.[21][22]

During the 2022 World Series, McIngvale attended Game 3 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Phillies fans brought up the Astros sign stealing scandal and accusations of their second baseman Jose Altuve cheating. McIngvale responded by repeatedly yelling "fuck you" at the fans. After the incident, McIngvale referred to Philadelphia sports fans as the "worst fans ever."[23]

Sports gambling

On February 3, 2022, McIngvale placed an unsuccessful $4.5 million wager on the Cincinnati Bengals to win Super Bowl LVI. It officially set the record for the largest mobile wager in sports betting history.[citation needed]

As a result of the Houston Astros claiming the 2022 World Series championship, Mack was awarded $75 million in total sports betting payouts, the highest total in sports betting history.[24]

McIngvale has lost $9.2 million betting on the last two CFP National Championship games.[25] In 2022, he bet $6.2 million on the Alabama Crimson Tide to defeat the Georgia Bulldogs; Georgia won, 33–18. A year later, he once again bet against the Bulldogs, putting $3 million on the TCU Horned Frogs to pull the upset. Georgia instead won a second straight championship, 65–7, to date the biggest blowout ever in an FBS bowl game.[26]

References

  1. ^ Pilkenton, Jenn. "Houston's Mattress Mack Uses His Success to Help Others". Philanthropy World Magazine. 12 (1). Archived from the original on November 21, 2008. Retrieved April 27, 2009.
  2. ^ "Timeline: How Mattress Mack evolved from failed entrepreneur to Houston celebrity". The Houston Chronicle.
  3. ^ "Mattress Mack". Free Enterprise Land. Archived from the original on August 23, 2013. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  4. ^ McIngvale, Jim (June 1, 2000). Mossman, Alan (ed.). "Presentation at BDA Forum 1999". UK Deming Newsletter. Transcribed by Henry Neave. ISSN 1470-5672. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2018 – via The Change Business Ltd.
  5. ^ Duening, Thomas; Ivancevich, John; McIngvale, Jim (2002). Always Think Big. Sydney, Australia: Kaplan Business. ISBN 0-7931-5375-1.
  6. ^ Patel, Purva (May 29, 2009). "McIngvale sued over unpaid taxes". Houston Chronicle. Houston, Texas: Hearst Corporation. Retrieved May 30, 2009.
  7. ^ Glen, Heidi. "Stores Full Of Furniture, 'Mattress Mack' Opens His Doors To Flood Victims". NPR. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  8. ^ "Imelda Relief". www.galleryfurniture.com. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  9. ^ Hauser, Christine (February 18, 2021). "A Houston furniture store opened its doors as a refuge. Thousands came for help". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  10. ^ Staff report (August 31, 2021). "Houston's 'Mattress Mack' is sheltering Louisiana residents for free after Hurricane Ida". NOLA.com. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  11. ^ "Individual contributions". Federal Elections Commission. Retrieved November 10, 2022.
  12. ^ "Anonymous group targets McIngvale for supporting Tea Party". KHOU. May 26, 2010. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
  13. ^ "Houston Tea Party, Boycott Sponsor Mattress Mack and Gallery Furniture." Rackjite.com. April 12, 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
  14. ^ "Houston business icon Jim 'Mattress Mack' McIngvale endorse Bill King for mayor in new TV ad". Bill King for Houston Mayor. Archived from the original on September 18, 2016. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  15. ^ "Mattress Mack picks a side in close Congressional race". KHOU. October 2, 2018. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  16. ^ Garcia, Ariana (March 22, 2022). "Mattress Mack shoots ad endorsing George P. Bush for Texas AG". Chron.
  17. ^ "These are the experts, leaders working with Gov. Abbott's strike force to reopen Texas". khou.com. April 17, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  18. ^ "Mattress Mack reportedly says election payouts are on the way to winning customers of Gallery Furniture promotion". Click2Houston. January 12, 2021. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  19. ^ Mellon, Ericka. "SUBURBAN SECESSION / Neighbors petition to join Klein / Northgate Forest residents complain of lower property values and performance with Spring Archived March 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine." Houston Chronicle. Thursday April 5, 2007. B1 MetFront.
  20. ^ "James McIngvale (I) Producer". IMDB. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  21. ^ "'Mattress Mack' released from hospital after stroke scare". KHOU. June 26, 2019. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  22. ^ Luna, Marcy de (June 25, 2019). "Jim 'Mattress Mack' McIngvale reportedly has 'ministroke'". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  23. ^ "Mattress Mack Said Philadelphia Has 'Worst Fans Ever' After Viral Incident". Fox Sports. Retrieved November 10, 2022.
  24. ^ Purdum, David (November 6, 2022). "'Mattress Mack' wins historic $75M payout off Astros' title". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  25. ^ Bengel, Chris (January 10, 2023). "Jim 'Mattress Mack' McIngvale has lost over $9M betting against Georgia in last two Championship Games". CBSSports.com. Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  26. ^ Patterson, Chip (January 9, 2023). "2023 national championship: Georgia, Stetson Bennett overpower TCU for most dominant victory of title game era". CBSSports.com. Retrieved July 26, 2023.