'Mattress Mack' to pay $7m in Super Bowl bet pledge

The Seattle Seahawks bear the Denver Broncos in the most-watched television event in US history The Super Bowl was the most-watched television event in US history

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A US furniture store owner is set to lose $7m (£4.2m) after promising a full refund to customers if the Seahawks beat Broncos in Sunday's Super Bowl.

The Seahawks duly won the game 43-8, which means about 1,000 customers will now get their orders free.

Nicknamed Mattress Mack, Jim McIngvale is well-known for his attention-grabbing ploys.

Though substantial, the loss amounts to only 6% of Mr McIngvale's annual income. He says it is good marketing.

Start Quote

It's a big hit, but it's a marketing expense”

End Quote Jim McIngvale

Mr McIngvale ran the Super Bowl promotion for 10 days at his two Gallery Furniture stores.

To win, customers had to purchase at least $6,000 worth of furniture and have it delivered before kick-off on Sunday.

The average customer who was eligible for the refund bought around $7,000 worth of furniture.

McIngvale is philosophical about the loss and says his business is getting priceless media coverage.

"It's a big hit, but it's a marketing expense. But more importantly, it's a brand-builder," Mr McIngvale said in a phone interview.

One-sided Super Bowls

1. San Francisco 49ers 55-10 Denver Broncos, Super Bowl XXIV, January 1990

2. Chicago Bears 46-10 New England Patriots, Super Bowl XX, January 1986

=3. Seattle Seahawks 43-8 Denver Broncos, Super Bowl XLVIII, February 2014

=3. Dallas Cowboys 52-17 Buffalo Bills, Super Bowl XXVII, January 1993

5. Los Angeles Raiders 38-9 Washington Redskins, Super Bowl XVIII, January 1984

It is not the first time Mattress Mack has pulled this kind of stunt.

Earlier this year, he refunded almost $700,000 to customers who bet correctly on the Super Bowl play-off victors.

In December, he was honoured by President George H W Bush for his anti-drugs campaigning, and he regularly gives talks to young people in Houston about his experience with addiction.

The Super Bowl was the most-watched television event in US history, the Fox TV network has said.

The event drew 111.5m viewers on Sunday night, it said.

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