HOUSTON -- The power outage at Gallery Furniture on Sunday evening had nothing to do with store owner Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale not being able to afford his electricity bill, even though he began handing out millions of dollars in customer refunds because the Astros won the World Series.McIngvale, the
HOUSTON -- The power outage at Gallery Furniture on Sunday evening had nothing to do with store owner Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale not being able to afford his electricity bill, even though he began handing out millions of dollars in customer refunds because the Astros won the World Series.
McIngvale, the well-known Houston businessman and philanthropist, ran a promotion during the regular season, offering customers who bought more than $3,000 in mattresses a refund if the Astros won the World Series. On Sunday, Astros manager A.J. Hinch, shortstop Carlos Correa, third baseman Alex Bregman and designated hitter Evan Gattis mingled with customers as McIngvale began handing out refunds that cost him more than $10 million.
"This means a lot, helping the community and bringing happiness to other people, and [being] able to impact society," Correa said. "That's why I respect the man, and that's why I'm here."
McIngvale ran a similar promotion in 2014 for his 63rd birthday, giving out $4 million in refunds because the Astros surpassed 63 wins (they won 70). He also refunded about $8 million to customers based on the result of Super Bowl XLVIII.
The promotions earned McIngvale tons of publicity, and he took out insurance policies to help cover his losses. He said the Astros winning the World Series was cathartic for the city of Houston following Hurricane Harvey, so he was glad to hand out refunds. Hundreds of customers braved the darkness Sunday and were treated to free food and drinks, as well as a giant Astros championship cake.
"The the lights went out for an hour, which was horrific, but the crowd was perfect about it," McIngvale said. "They couldn't have been better. It's kind of the can-do spirit of Houston. And the Astros made it all happen this year. We've got some great players here, we've got the manager here. A lot of fun for everybody, and even though it got delayed, it's going to be a great night."
When Harvey hit Houston in August, McIngvale opened the doors to his store to anyone who needed shelter. The Astros had McIngvale throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Red Sox in October.
"I have mad respect for the man for everything he's done for the city of Houston and for all the people in need," Correa said.
Hinch's trip to Gallery Furniture wasn't his first. He said he bought his home-theater seating there shortly after moving to Houston and has gotten to know McIngvale personally.
"It's great to be a part of it," Hinch said. "Mack is such is a special man and has been great for our city and so many people and how much he's given back in times of need. In this instance, we're all celebrating, he's celebrating. He's happy as anybody to give this money back to the people that bought furniture and continue to celebrate this World Series."
Correa said he wasn't aware during the World Series that so many people stood to benefit financially from the Astros' championship.
"We were playing for the city and were trying to do our best to bring the city together and everything, and what he's doing out there to bring the city together is great," Correa said.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.