Oregon Bartender Tipped With A Lottery Ticket Wins $17,500

Having someone hand you a lottery ticket as your tip for serving drinks might usually be kind of a bummer because the odds are that ticket is worthless. Unless it isn’t, and then it’s pretty darn exciting. An Oregon bartender who said one of her customers regularly gives her unplayed Keno tickets as tips lucked out to the tune of $17,500. That’s a mighty fine tip.

The bartender tells ABCNews.com that it’s the usual way it goes with one of her regulars, who offers up the unplayed tickets to her as tips.

“He lets me take whatever tickets I would want,” she said. “That’s a normal thing between us.”

He told her to pick two tickets he’d bought on Oct. 3, so she did. At first she thought she’d just won $5 — still not a bad tip. But then she checked the second one, while the whole bar was watching the numbers on TV.

“[When I saw,] I turned around and I automatically handed it right back to him,” she said of the $17,500 windfall. “He had me sign it so nobody could steal it. Then he said, ‘Now that you’ve signed it, you’re the only person who could cash it.'”

She gave her customer a percentage of her winnings for being her lucky charm.

“I forced him to take it. I’m too humble for that,” she said. “I absolutely just want to pay it forward. I don’t intend to keep all that money for myself.”

She’s also donating part of the winnings to a charity dedicated to muscular dystrophy, and is squirreling away the rest — unless she finds the perfect couch.

“I have not bought anything, not shoes, not a T-shirt,” she said. “I have a couple of bills I’m going to pay off, but for the most part I’m just going to save it. I don’t want to blow money just because I came into money.”

“Everyone is so excited,” she added of her customers at work. “Everybody keeps saying good things happen to good people. I’m so glad so many people think that I’m deserving of that.”

‘Humble’ Oregon Bartender Plans to Save Winnings From $17,500 Tip [ABC News]