ROCKVILLE, Md. — Drew Shipley bought Washington Commanders season tickets this season for the first time, thinking it would be a fun thing for him to do with his girlfriend. He’s not as much of a fan anymore, after the team’s check bounced when it tried to pay him for winning more than $14,000 in a Fed Ex Field raffle.
“It was quite shocking,” Shipley said during an interview from his Rockville home.
A Washington Commanders spokesperson confirmed Wednesday that the check the team wrote to Shipley 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. 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,” the spokesperson said in an email to WUSA9.
Shipley said he won the “50/50” raffle during the team’s Week One win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. A “50/50” raffle is when half the pot goes to the Washington Commanders Charitable Foundation, and the other half goes to the fan with the winning numbers.
Shipley said after more than a month had passed without being paid his prize money, Shipley twice tweeted the team asking for his winnings, then called his ticket representative to ask for the team to make good.
"Who am I supposed to talk to?” Shipley said. “Am I supposed to call Dan Snyder myself?"
A $14,822 check arrived at Shipley’s home in a FedEx Envelope from the Commanders on Thursday, Oct. 13. Shipley deposited the check with his credit union, and said four days later he was notified it bounced, putting his bank account in the negative and leaving him with a $15 bad check fee.
“Quite maddening,” Shipley said, “It took this long to get it, I can’t believe a professional franchise would end up” doing something like that.
“Obviously somebody dropped the ball,” Shipley said.
Shipley said he’s now square with the Commanders but still wonders how something like this happened.
“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.”
Shipley said the bounced prize check only adds to an “underwhelming” experience he has had as a Commanders season ticket holder thus far.
DC Attorney General Karl Racine plans to take action against the Commanders and owner Dan Snyder as it wraps up its own months-long investigation into the franchise