Kevin Winter/Getty Drew Brees
Former NFL quarterback Drew Brees says he is "fine" after a staged video in which the 43-year-old athlete appeared to be struck by lightning went viral on Friday morning.
The staged video, which was first shared on Thursday night, showed Brees standing in front of a camera crew before lightning strikes him and the video goes dark.
The account that shared the video wrote, "NFL star @drewbrees gets hit by Lightning in Catatumbo while filming a promotional video... More info in a few minutes."
By Friday morning, PointsBet had released a written statement on Twitter, confirming they were aware of the video and adding to the stunt, saying they "are in communication with Brees' team."
"We are aware of the media coverage regarding PointsBet brand ambassador Drew Brees," the company wrote. "We are in communication with Brees' team and will continue to monitor events throughout the coming hours. At this stage we will not be making any further comment."
ESPN reporter Katherine Terrell was among the first to contact Brees directly to confirm he had not been struck by lightning. "I just texted Drew Brees," Terrell tweeted. "He said he's good and that he did not get struck by lightning."
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Approximately two hours later, PointsBet posted a video explaining the spoof. "Time to let you in on a little fun we've had," the company tweeted, confirming that Brees is "alive and well and 'buzzing' for a weekend of free bets."
"Just wanted to jump on and let you know that I am alive and well in Cataumbo, Venezuela, which by the way is the most active hot spot for lightning strikes in the world," Brees said while seated in an ambulance.
Brees then stands up and leaves the ambulance, saying, "hopefully, lightning doesn't strike twice," as he pretends to be struck again.
Apparently, Brees and PointsBet's inspiration behind the spoof came from the idea that the former NFL star is "buzzing" over new bet drops from the company.
Brees began dropping hints for the viral prank on Monday, when he told his Twitter followers he was traveling to a "top-secret location" later in the week to film a promo for PointsBet.
Following the admission it was all a prank, Brees joked, "The lightning must've thought I was wearing a Falcon's jersey, that's why it tried to get me."