The concept of 50/50 raffle allows the winner to cash in half of the money raised, unless the check bounces. A Washington Commanders season-ticket holder recently experienced that downside, as he won the Commanders’ Charitable Foundation 50/50 raffle on Sept. 11 only for the team’s check to bounce when he tried to cash it later.
The story first became public during The Team 980’s “Russell & Medhurst” show Wednesday morning. A caller who identified himself as “Mike from Pennsylvania” told the story of his friend who won the raffle during the Commanders’ season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The friend, Drew Shipley, waited more than a month for his prize. Shipley went on the show later that day and expressed his disappointment.
WUSA9, a TV station in Washington D.C. affiliated with CBS, talked to Shipley in more detail on Wednesday evening. Shipley, a season ticket holder, tweeted at the team twice to find out what was going on when he didn’t hear back from them after winning the raffle. He eventually received a FedEx Envelope with a check for $14,822 — half of the $29,645 pool — on Oct. 13. Days after attempting to deposit the check in his credit union, the fan was told the check had bounced and he was left with a $15 bad check fee.
After that story came out, a Commanders spokesperson confirmed go to WUSA9 that the check did not clear.
“We reached out directly to the fan as soon as we learned about it and have wired the money directly to his account, and apologized for the inconvenience,” the spokesperson wrote in an email to the TV station. “It was a bank error, and we are following up with the bank to learn why it happened and ensure it doesn’t happen again.”
Shipley described the whole situation as “quite maddening” and unprofessional.
“You gotta do the small things right,” Shipley said. “You have big enough scandals from the top of your organization, you gotta retain your customers.”
One of those scandals involves Commanders owner Dan Snyder, who is under investigation for underreporting ticket sales to reap tax benefits and alleged sexual misconduct. Last summer, the NFL fined this team $10 million and announced that Snyder had been taken off day-to-day duties because the organization had a “hostile workplace environment” under his watch.