8:15 AM PT -- New video, obtained by TMZ Sports, shows the whole thing was, in fact, staged ... with Drew Brees revealing it was all an effort to make people aware of the gambling platform's "free lightning bets."
In the new footage, Brees explained the situation ... before joking again about being struck by lightning.
No, Drew Brees was not struck by lightning despite a scary video that appeared to show he was ... the NFL legend said Friday a bolt never touched him, and he's doing fine.
Brees relayed the message in a text to ESPN Saints reporter Katherine Terrell ... just hours after footage surfaced seemingly showing the ex-New Orleans quarterback in danger.
In the clip, which was apparently shot while Brees was filming a commercial for the sports gambling platform PointsBet in Catatumbo -- an area in Venezuela known for its consistent thunderstorm activity -- you can see a lightning bolt making a beeline for Brees' back.
Estrella de la @NFL@drewbrees fue impactado por un relámpago en el Catatumbo mientras grabábamos un comercial al sur del lago de Maracaibo. Pasó hace unas horas. Más información en breve... pic.twitter.com/b8PQdRpdtN