Most bartenders expect their tips in the form of cash, and if you don’t throw down a few bucks, don’t expect to get your next beer. But not Aurora Kephart of Springfield, Oregon, who may be not only the world’s nicest bartender, but the world’s luckiest as well.
The 25-year-old server has been tending bar at Conway's Restaurant and Lounge for about four years. Over that time she’s developed friendly relations with her regular patrons, to the point where she lets one of them tip her in lottery tickets — tips that are almost guaranteed to be worthless.
Last Wednesday, the man — who wanted to keep his identity private — handed Kephart two tickets for the state lottery’s Keno game. In Keno, winning numbers are drawn repeatedly throughout the day and posted on TV screens in restaurants, bars and other establishments where the tickets are sold.
Kephart (pictured) looked up at the screen in Conway’s and saw that, lo and behold, she had won five bucks on the first ticket. Not bad. But when she checked the second, she let out a scream that got the whole bar’s attention.
Her regular patron had just tipped her $17,500.
That was the amount of the winnings on the Keno ticket. Her first reaction? She handed the ticket back to the man who gave it to her.
"The look on his face was incredible," Kephart said. "I automatically handed it back to him; it was his ticket."
As if Kephart’s own actions weren’t enough to restore one’s faith in human nature, the bar patron’s ought to do the trick. He refused to accept the ticket and in fact, insisted that Kephart sign the back of it.
“He said, 'Now that you've signed it, you're the only person who could cash it,’” Kephart recalled.
The saintly bartender gave the man a piece of her winnings anyway, after picking up the check from Oregon lottery headquarters in Salem.
"I forced him to take it. I'm too humble for that," Kephart said. "I absolutely just want to pay it forward. I don't intend to keep all that money for myself."
Otherwise, she has made donations to a muscular dystrophy charity but intends to save the rest except for a few outstanding bills — and new couch.
"It's the only thing I need," she said. "I'm set up and secure."
SOURCES: Fox News, ABC News