The viral tipping campaign #TipsforJesus has struck again in Cody, Wyoming, on July 30.
A fortunate waitress named Chelsea got a tip for $1,000 on a bill that was for $85 at The Irma Hotel, which is near Yellowstone National Park.
A photo of the huge tip was posted to Instagram on July 31 with the caption, “There’s a better way to spend $55,000. #cecilthelion #godbless.”
The tipping campaign Tips for Jesus started in 2013. Servers around the country started to report receiving huge tips on their checks. The only indicator that it was a coordinated effort was a little note on each receipt with the Instagram handle “@tipsforjesus.”
Though it is unknown who is behind the campaign, it has long been rumored that PayPal executive Jack Selby is behind the operation. Whoever the mastermind is, he or she wanted to make a statement about the recent killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe by an American dentist. The killing of the much admired animal also took place near a national park.
Photos of the receipts, often depicting a giddy server posing alongside, are then put on the Instagram page of the campaign. More than 100 photos have been posted to the account, reported Yahoo.
In February 2014, the person behind the campaign was interviewed by San Francisco Magazine. At the time, the ringleader and his associates, of whom there are roughly 10, had already left $130,000 in tips in the first year.
The tipper spoke on the condition of anonymity. He said the campaign started in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at a bar. He and his friends had long been tipping generously, but that night they decided to treat their server to a $3,000 tip on a bill for $87.98. A photo of the receipt was then posted to Instagram.
It started with “Tips for Jesus” scribbled on the check, but later the group adopted a rubber stamp. The campaign quickly went viral.
Christian media interpreted the movement as an example of Christian generosity, though that was debunked. The mastermind told the reporter, “The movement we have started is intended to be agnostic,” though he did not elaborate
The goal, the ringleader explained, is not to merely have isolated incidents of extreme generosity go viral on social media. The goal is to create copycats.