Houston furniture store owner surprises military family with World Series tickets

Big League Stew

In Houston, there are few more popular business owners than Jim McIngvale.

The man affectionately known as “Mattress Mack” started selling mattresses out of his truck nearly 40 years ago. With the support of the community, the Gallery Furniture founder has since grown his business to the point where it averages $200 million in sales per year. That alone is quite a claim to fame. But his most endearing quality is his willingness to give back to the community that helped make him.

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That remained true on Friday when Mattress Mack surprised several Astros fans with free tickets to World Series games this weekend at Minute Maid Park. Among them, a military family that’s currently separated.

According to KHOU, Nikki Raingel, whose daughter is currently stationed in Japan, came to the store on Friday for a hat giveaway. Little did she know that her daughter had contacted McIngvale explaining how much it would mean to her mother to attend a World Series. Once McIngvale heard her story, he decided he’d surprise Raingel with tickets to attend Game 3 on Friday.

Early Friday morning, he made a few Astros fans dreams come true by giving away several free tickets to the World Series, leaving Nikki Raingel speechless.

“I’ve never won anything in my life, this is not even winning this is because of my daughter, so it means so much, I wish she could be here to take my mom,” said Raingel. Nikki’s daughter is a Marine and a huge Astros fan.

She’s stationed in Japan so she can’t share her love for the Astros with her grandmother but her story moved Mattress Mack to send her two favorite women instead.

“He’s so kind, he’s so awesome, I really appreciate it,” said the young Marine, via FaceTime.

On Friday, McIngvale made several other friends when he surprised customers waiting in line with tickets. As a result, those fans will get to take in a World Series game for free.

A view of Minute Maid Park in Houston before World Series Game 3. (Getty Images)
A view of Minute Maid Park in Houston before World Series Game 3. (Getty Images)

This is just another example of McIngvale’s kindness. His most notable act of goodwill came just a few weeks ago. After Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Houston area, he opened his store to residents displaced by the storm. His store provided food and shelter.

Like J.J. Watt, who was on hand to throw out the first pitch before World Series Game 3, McIngvale was a leader when times got tough. His spot as a pillar and a hero in Houston has long been cemented.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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