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Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street: Nov. 6

Stocks in this article: K LZB M

La-Z-Boy Crashes Auction

In the end, the motorized chair which was involved in a DUI accident with a real automobile and is now up for auction on eBay (EBAY) wasn't even a La-Z-Boy (LZB) anyway.

Yeah, we better explain that one.

Last year, 61-year-old Dennis LeRoy got hammered in a Proctor, Minn. bar and attempted to drive home. His vehicle of choice? A custom-made, motorized living room recliner powered by a converted lawnmower and equipped with a cup-holder, radio, headlight and a National Hot Rod Association sticker. After crashing into a "real" car on his way back from the pub, LeRoy failed a slew of sobriety tests and was sentenced to 180 days in jail.

But the story doesn't end there. At least not for LeRoy's unique ride.

Cops in Proctor made a deal with LeRoy to strike one of the DUIs from his record if they could sell the contraption and raise money for the state. They listed the chair on eBay calling it a "great parade vehicle or a terrific business draw." They also made sure to warn potential buyers that it is most certainly "not a street legal vehicle." According to news reports, the chair reportedly received bids topping $43,000, or close to the price of a brand new 2009 BMW 5-Series.

Well, the press caught wind of the story and dubbed LeRoy's invention the "DUI La-Z-Boy Mobile." And while that may seem like a cool moniker at a football tailgate party, it's not the kind of advertising La-Z-Boy was looking for. (Who figured La-Z-Boy would rather have its furniture judged for its style as opposed to its gas mileage?) Eventually La-Z-Boy stopped the auction with only a few hours of bidding left on the clock.

That is, until late Tuesday when the chair took off again. It turned out, upon further review, that La-Z-Boy did not manufacture the chair in question, and the item was put back up for sale on eBay. The $10,099.99 winning bid on Thursday was impressive, but much lower than the earlier auction.

We'll raise a glass to the lucky winner. We just hope he or she doesn't do the same before driving the prize home.

Dumb-o-meter score: 90 -- We're not sure whether we should be impressed with LeRoy's ingenuity, or saddened that someone would go to such lengths not to have to get up from their recliner.

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