Why Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson Got Hit With A Lawsuit Over A Raffle That Backfired In A Big Way

Chad Ochocinco looks on during warmups

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For some reason, guys who play wide receiver in the NFL tend to be part of a fairly outspoken bunch. Terrell Owens, Odell Beckham, and Randy Moss were superstars in their prime and made sure everyone knew it; they’d say and do crazy things, which is partially because they knew fans love players who say and do crazy things.

Chad Johnson is no different.

The man who legally changed his last name to “Ochocinco” (a reference to his No. 85) was a juggernaut at wide receiver for the Bengals at a time when fans in Cincinnati didn’t have a ton to cheer for.

He garnered a ton of attention for his play on the field, but there were also plenty of developments off the gridiron that kept him in the headlines during his career and well after he hung up his cleats—including an ill-fated raffle that caused a bit of stir.

Why Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson regretted organizing a raffle to give away a Lexus

Chad Ochocino on field for the Bengals

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Ochocinco has always been known as a generous guy (or at least that’s the image he likes to present to the public).

There’s been a few occurrences of him leaving some hefty tips at restaurants he patronized and even paying rent for a guy who almost got evicted. However, there’s also been at least one situation where he promised something but failed to deliver.

That includes a giveaway he organized in 2007 after linking up with Funny Bone Comedy Club in Newport, Kentucky for a raffle involving a Lexus that managed to spark some controversy.

Here’s what went down: people had the chance to buy the tickets that were supposed to be drawn to determine who would become the proud new owner of a Lexus SUV valued at $45,000.

However, no one came forward to claim the grand prize after the drawing was held, and things took an interesting turn when his girlfriend was seen driving the exact same vehicle just a few days later.

That obviously didn’t sit well with the people who’d entered the raffle in the hopes of walking away with a new whip, and it didn’t take long for some of them to organize a class-action lawsuit where Johnson was listed as the defendant. While the case was scheduled to go to trial in the summer of 2008, it was settled for $100,000 after Johnson admitted he’d given the Lexus to a “friend.”

Look, we all make mistakes (although I don’t think many of us can relate to the situation Ochocinco found himself facing), but it’s pretty wild Chad thought he’d be able to get away with this. After all, this transpired when the WR was at the peak of his career, and while it’s hard to imagine this was done maliciously, it still wasn’t the best look.

With that said, I feel like the settlement was still a pretty solid silver lining for the people who entered the raffle. It’s hard to imagine anyone who bought a ticket actually convinced themselves they were going to win, so getting a nice little check sent your way after the dust settled is still a pretty good consolation price considering the circumstances.