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$7M Super Bowl bet: Texas furniture store loses, owes its customers $7 million

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A Texas furniture store’s owner followed the state’s mantra and went big, big time. Weeks after losing nearly $700K to his customers on a bet regarding the outcome of the AFC and NFC Championship games, Jim McIngvale, from Gallery Furniture, placed a whopper of a bet, and lost an enormous sum.

According to Fox Sports on Monday, Houston-based Gallery Furniture owner Jim McIngvale, known as “Mattress Mack” to his customers, rolled out a “Pigskin Promotion,” betting that the Denver Broncos would defeat the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII. If Seattle won, McIngvale would issue refunds to over 1,000 of his customers.

When the Seahawks took home the championship trophy Sunday, McIngvale estimates he’s going to have to refund over $7 million dollars worth of furniture. According to the terms of the promotion, any customer who spent more than $6,000 at Gallery Furniture by 5 p.m. Saturday would be given a full refund.

Sales spiked, but now McIngvale has to make good on his promise and give it all back.

“The accountant is pulling his hair out this morning, but the customers are happy and that’s what’s most important,” McIngvale said, adding that the average refund will be $7,000 per customer.

The zany business owner, who is known for his extravagant promotions, either must have a huge bankroll, or perhaps is still in shock, but he claims he’s more than happy to return the money.

“I feel great,” he said. “My objective in this whole exercise is what can we do that delights and thrills our customers. Certainly they were thrilled last night when the Seattle team won the big game.”

McIngvale said he did not take out an insurance policy for the potential loss, so the hit is coming straight from his pocketbook.

“It’s all about branding, it’s all about being authentic with our customers,” he said. “It’s all about making it fun and exciting for our customers and bringing out millennial customers who are affluent, and that’s exactly who the audience was for this promotion. The promotion was a tremendous success, and we delighted lots of customers.”

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