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Paul Bissonnette It Was Dirt Cheap to Pull Off Epic Ice Bucket Challenge

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NHL player Paul Bissonnette's plan to pull off the most badass ALS ice bucket challenge ever ... started where most extreme ideas do -- at a bar while throwing back a few rounds -- and he tells TMZ Sports the stunt was actually pretty cheap. Bissonnette says he and 4 other friends came up with the now legendary idea while chilling in a Vancouver bar -- partly because one of his drinking buddies owns a chopper and camera gear.

Bissonnette's heard Internet haters chirping that his caper was a waste of money, and he should have just donated the production cost to ALS research -- but turns out it was way less expensive than you'd think.

According to Paul ... he only dropped $175 to fill the chopper with gas, and a few other supplies.
He and his friends also donated $1000 to the cause.

So it was ballsy AND cost-effective! Top that, LeBron. Watch TMZ Sports on FS1 Get the new TMZ Sports app!
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