You often hear stories of a generous stranger leaving behind an extra-large tip for an unsuspecting restaurant server, and it usually ends there – but this story wasn’t one of them.
Bee Anantatho, who owns popular Thai restaurant, Thailicious, in Edgewater, Colorado, said one of her servers was elated when she found $1,088 in cash tucked inside a checkbook while clearing her table Monday night.
It was unexpected, to say the least. The mystery man only had a couple glasses of wine while waiting for his $46 takeout order.
The lucky finder, Skye Seumptewa, immediately brought the money to Anantatho for the tip jar that is split amongst the wait staff at the end of each shift.
“Even on the [surveillance] video, I look really surprised," Seumptewa told NBC 5 affiliate KARE-TV. "I opened the book and then shut it really quick, just like, no, that didn't really happen."
He had left 10 $100 bills along with some $20 bills and several singles.
"We thought he was just some super loaded dude, who wanted to make our night," Syke said.
Slightly wary, Anantatho told the servers to hold on to their share, just in case he came back.
And unfortunately for them, he did. Bright and early the next morning.
“He came in and asked for the money back,” Anantatho said.
Memory blurred, the man initially assumed he had lost it.
“He [asked] if we saw any of it on the floor or somewhere,” she said in her interview with KARE-TV. “He said he was a little drunk, and I think he believed that he counted 20 bills of money … I think he believed it was all singles.”
Employees decided to give his money back to him, and said they have no hard feelings. They still got a good – but much more reasonable – tip of about $70.
"Many people have said we have a right to keep the money since it was already in the checkbook," Anantatho said. "[But] I believe in karma, so if it's not ours then we should give it back. He's still welcome."