Texas Business Owner Loses $7 Million Over Super Bowl
The Denver Broncos weren’t the only ones who lost big during Sunday’s Super Bowl. A furniture store owner in Houston lost an estimated $7 million in bets because of the Seattle Seahawks’ victory.
Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale ran a promotion at his two Gallery Furniture stores. He promised that big-ticket customers would get full refunds and be able to keep their purchases if the Seahawks won. Customers who bought at least $6,000 in furniture in the 10 days leading up to the big game were all eligible.
And in all, 1,000 customers participated, buying an average of $7,000 worth of furniture each. That means the bet cost McIngvale a whopping $7 million. Quite the bet, considering that if the Broncos won, he’d get nothing in return.
It’s a big hit, but it’s a marketing expense. But more importantly, it’s a brand-builder,” McIngvale told Reuters. He added, “The customers who have won this are tweeting about it, they’re Facebooking about it, they’re talking about it to people at work. That type of viral media, you can hardly put a price on it.”
This wasn’t McIngvale’s first high-stakes publicity stunt, though it was his largest. Earlier this year, he gave $685,000 in refunds to customers who correctly predicted the Broncos/Seahawks matchup.