The Washington Commanders Charitable Foundation, founded in 2000 by vile power couple Dan and Tanya Snyder, runs a regular raffle at Commanders home games. Fans purchase raffle tickets online or at the team’s hellish exurban stadium starting the Thursday before each home game, and then at the start of the fourth quarter of that week’s game a winning ticket number is chosen and announced. The Charitable Foundation keeps half the total jackpot of each week’s game, for use in its “support of youth programs throughout the region,” and the other half is awarded to the holder of the winning ticket. Or, anyway, that’s how it’s supposed to work, but like so much about this miserable franchise, even a simple charity raffle is not safe from the occasional excruciating, credibility-nuking screw-up.
This isn’t quite the haul it used to be back in less sad times (since there has never been a strictly happy time for this franchise since Snyder purchased it). The winning ticket for the contest held for Washington’s 2022 home opener was worth less than half of what the contest paid out at a home opener just three years ago, back when Washington’s home attendance wasn’t the worst in the league. Nevertheless, we are still talking about almost $15,000 for the 2022 opener’s contest winner, a Washington season-ticket holder named Drew. Unfortunately, as Drew and his friend Mike explained Wednesday in calls to D.C.-area radio show Russell & Medhurst, it took more than a month of pestering before Drew finally received his winnings, in a check sent via FedEx Priority Overnight shipping, dated October 13, and identifying the payer as the since-renamed Washington Football Team.
This was only the beginning of the headache for Drew. Soon after he attempted to deposit the check, he was told by his bank that the account it was drawn against had insufficient funds to cover the amount. “I called my ticket rep first thing this morning, when I got off the phone with Navy Federal Credit Union, saying what the situation was,” Drew explained to the show’s baffled hosts. “My ticket rep got me to a, uh, a finance department lady that seems to be trying to correct the situation rather quickly.”
But the team’s hot-check-writing had apparently already gotten Drew into bigger trouble: He says his credit union fronted $3,000 to his checking account, which he quickly transferred to a savings account to cover future tax liabilities. When the check subsequently bounced, his bank reached into his checking account and yanked back the $3,000, then hit him with an overdraft fee.
The Commanders confirmed the sequence of events Wednesday afternoon and explained that the situation has been resolved, with a quick electronic payment. Naturally, they blamed someone else. “It was a bank error,” a team spokesperson said in a statement to Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post. “We have reached out to the bank to determine what happened, and to ensure it doesn’t happen again.” Sparing Dan Snyder from embarrassment is the fact that he is incapable of feeling shame.