Many people think tips are impossible to go beyond the two-digit mark. They can, they will and they may even surpass the bill itself if generous-hearted people continue to do this wonderful deed for those who patiently take orders and rely on tips for their subsistence.
Here is a list of the 10 most generous tips that has been recorded in recent times.
10 $250 (Capitale Grille, West Hollywood)
With the money that comes from huge record deals, hip-hop artist The Game can afford such a hefty tip. He handed that amount to waiter Eme Ikuakor after a meal on Easter Sunday in 2013.
9 $446 (Steak ‘n Shake, Indianapolis)
CeCe Bruce had her lucky streak one fine day when a regular customer only known as “Miss Jo” awarded her with $446 without any specific reason. Jo’s persistence won over Bruce’s resistance in accepting that amount on top of a meal that only actually cost $5.97.
8 $458 (Uncle Tony’s Pizza and Pasta, Providence, Rhode Island)
Kristen Ruggiero was the lucky recipient of this tip. Reportedly, a couple handed out five $100 bills and just left with the bill only being $42. She was baffled by this and thought they might have just forgotten. A month later, the donors returned to inform her that it was left intentionally and that she deserved the hefty tip.
7 $500 (a random tip in honor of a departed’s wish)
“Leave an awesome tip (and I don't mean 25%. I mean $500 on a pizza) for a waiter or waitress.” These were the words of a generous man named Aaron Collins, a 30-year-old guy who unexpectedly passed away on July 7, 2012. When a dying loved one leaves you with these words, you exert every effort to accomplish it. So the family set up a website in memory of him and was able to raise the amount.
The lucky one who received the first $500 tip was a waitress at Puccini’s. This was documented primarily to have proof of their promise to Aaron. However, the video went viral. It is reported that since it came out, donations continued to flood through the site. The one-time wish became a family tradition to leave $500 tips in memory of Aaron and these activities have been well documented on the website. This act alone, if it continues and if others would emulate it, could eventually amount to the biggest tip given (in aggregate amount) by a single person.
6 $1,000 (As a Ticket to Italy)
A waitress at a diner in Texas was apparently given a $1,000 tip for her to have the chance to go back to Italy. According to the blog of the waitress’s daughter, her mom shared how she got engaged in a conversation with a man she waited on, mentioned that she was from Florence and that she has never visited the place. The blog revealed that sad snippet in her mom’s life, how she has a good eight years of art education to boot yet she’s earning a measly amount by waiting tables in a small town. It wasn’t told if this story was shared with the anonymous guy, but he just gave away $1,000 to the waitress he got to talk to for only a couple of minutes. The funny thing is that his bill was $60.42 and he paid $1060. Do the math and you’ll see that he still owes the restaurant $0.42! However, it wasn’t known if the woman really used the $1,000 for the Italy trip.
5 $4,000 (from the Hollywood pirate we have come to love as Jack Sparrow)
Mohammed Sekhani, a waiter who has long worked at this renowned Chicago steak joint, Gibson’s, has been the lucky pick of famous Hollywood figure Johnny Depp one evening back in 2009. Apparently, the Pirates of the Caribbean star is a very generous tipper. It could be just cheap change for a guy with such celebrity status but that is certainly a small fortune for Mr. Sekhani.
4 $5,000 (D’Amico’s Italian Market Café, Houston)
Greg Rubar has been working as a waiter for 16 years. On May 26, 2012, he received a tip amounting to $5,000 from a regular couple who prefer to be anonymous. They heard news that a massive thunderstorm wrecked Rubar’s car. Being a waiter is not an easy job and for a customer who regularly sees the efforts of a waiter like Rubar, they thought he did not deserve such a predicament. However, fortuitous events are beyond control and there’s nothing we could do about it. Then again, the couple found that they could do something about what Rubar lost, by giving him a $5,000 tip.
3 $10,000 (Pizza Hut, Angola, Indiana)
There’s something about Italians and pizza joints that tips seem to adhere to! A lot of these generous tips were given in Italian-themed restaurants and one was even given out to fulfill an Italian trip.
When a customer hands over a $10,000 tip, that will definitely make your knees wobble. That’s not a tip right there; that could be enough for a car or to pay for student loans. Jessica Osborne, a 20-year-old waitress had formed a special bond with a regular customer only known as “Becky.” Regular visits to the pizza joint by Becky and family reinforced their friendship. Becky learned that Osborne has been under financial struggle and had to leave school because of it. Becky had a share of struggle as well when a car accident took away her husband and daughter. This became a sort of a blessing in disguise as Becky was able to use part of the settlement money to help Osborne out so she could go back to college.
2 $12,000 (Moorhead’s Frying Pan, Minnesota)
Perhaps this wasn’t intended to be a tip, but it happened, and waitress Stacy Knutson couldn’t have been happier. The $12,000 cash in the “to go” box alarmed her too much that she reported it to the police. Rules have it that, if it remains unclaimed after 60 days, it’s all hers for the taking. However, the money had to be investigated on as it apparently had “a strong odor of marijuana.” Since technically there wasn’t any owner and she found it in the restaurant, she still had the “legal” rights to keeping the amount. Drug money or not, that’s Knutson’s stroke of luck. It was meant to be hers.
1 $3 Million (You read it right. A three-million-dollar tip. A deal that happened at Sal’s Pizzeria in Yonkers, New York)
Before you run wild about this unbelievable amount for a tip, hear the story first. The movie It Could Happen To You was based on this true-to-life incident.
Topbilled by Nicolas Cage and Bridget Fonda, it told the story of police detective, Robert Cunningham, and waitress, Phyllis Penzo. On March 30, 1984, Cunningham stroke a deal with Penzo –suggesting that, instead of a tip, they would split the potential winnings on a $1 lottery ticket. Penzo agreed to the deal and picked three out of the six numbers needed. That $1 ticket gave them $6 million in total the following day, which, as agreed upon, was split into two. If you think Penzo immediately quit her job because she became an instant millionaire, your wrong. She continued to be a waitress for Sal’s for another 2 years since her lucky strike. She retired from Sal’s in 1986, not because she was tired or she knew she was rich and could afford to have a better job or perhaps set up her own business. What made her decide to quit is the constant lottery ticket offers from customers. She simply got tired of it.
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