Mattress Mack Loses $1.5M on Kentucky Derby Bet on Epicenter in Rich Strike Upset

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 7, 2022

Owner Jim McIngvale talks about opening his Gallery Furniture store as a shelter Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Houston. Millions in Texas still had no power after a historic snowfall and single-digit temperatures created a surge of demand for electricity to warm up homes unaccustomed to such extreme lows, buckling the state's power grid and causing widespread blackouts. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Sometimes it doesn't pay to bet on the favorite.

Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale laid down a cool $1.5 million on Epicenter to win the 2022 Kentucky Derby on Saturday. Coming around the final turn, things were looking good for the Houston-area businessman.

Then Rich Strike spoiled the party.

br_betting @br_betting

Mattress Mack put $1.5 MILLION on Epicenter to win the Kentucky Derby…<br><br>Epicenter finished in second. <a href="https://t.co/sGBusFM4YC">pic.twitter.com/sGBusFM4YC</a>

McIngvale told B/R Betting he arrived at Churchill Downs with $4 million to spend. Epicenter, the Louisiana Derby winner, was one of the most logical candidates to warrant a seven-figure wager.

br_betting @br_betting

"I hope not to lose it all" πŸ˜…<br><br>Mattress Mack has $4M to spend today at the Kentucky Derby <a href="https://t.co/UqCSB6fVkc">pic.twitter.com/UqCSB6fVkc</a>

Rich Strike closed as an 80-1 underdog as he headed to the gate. He was only added to the race Friday morning following Ethereal Road's scratch.

While the three-year-old was almost totally unknown to racing fans, that won't be the case any longer.

For Mattress Mack, Rich Strike is unlikely to conjure any positive memories.