When Kristen Ruggiero, a waitress at Uncle Tony's Pizza in Cranston, Rhode Island, found five $100 bills left behind at a table she was serving, she figured it must have been a mistake.
"Am I counting this right?" she thought, according to the Providence Journal. "Did they think those were five $10s?"
The strangers at Ruggiero's table owed $42 for their pizza. A generous 20-percent tip would have left Ruggiero with $8.
Instead of pocketing the cash, Ruggiero, a single mother, put the money in a safe place, thinking the couple would come back to claim it, according to WPRI.
But when the couple returned a month later, they said the $458 tip was intended.
"He said no it was absolutely not a mistake you deserved it," Ruggiero told ABC 6.
According to WPRI, Ruggiero can expect to bring home anywhere from $60-$100 in tips per night. Like most waitresses, Ruggiero's income relies heavily on tips. She earns $2.89 per hour in salary, which is well below Rhode Island's minimum wage of $7.40. (It's legal and standard for tipped servers to make below minimum wage because they're expected to make up the loss in tips.)
With the extra cash, Ruggiero was able to "pay a couple of bills," she told WPRI. "It's tough, you know, struggling day by day."
ABC 6 reported that Ruggiero also paid for a trip to Six Flags with her kids using some of the money.
Check out some of our favorite outrageous tipping stories below.
Peyton Tips An Extra $200
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning left $200 in addition to the 18 percent gratuity on his bill at Angus Barn in Raleigh, North Carolina where he had a meal with his friends last Friday, <a href="http://deadspin.com/5891136/peyton-manning-leaves-insanely-good-tips-at-restaurants" target="_hplink">according to Deadspin. </a> Photo by <a href="http://www.sportshoopla.com/forums/nhl-hockey-forum-message-board-general-discussion/64542-ot-just-peyton-manning-not-cheap-bastard.html" target="_hplink">Bizzle McDizzle</a>
Tiger Woods Is Cheap
<a href="http://aol.sportingnews.com/sport/story/2011-08-18/tiger-woods-lebron-james-accused-of-being-cheap-tippers" target="_hplink">New Miami Times</a> ranked golf player Tiger Woods at the top of its list of cheapest celebrity tippers, <a href="http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/shortorder/2011/08/lebron_to_usher_to_sean_penn_t.php?page=2" target="_hplink">reporting</a>: "The man worth more than $500 million says it's because he never carries cash."
Delivery Man Gets $2 For Putting His Life On The Line
Lin Dakang, a delivery man for a Chinese restaurant on the Upper East Side, received $2 on a $15.50 bill for a 2.5 mile bike ride dodging traffic on a cold winter night, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/nyregion/for-food-delivery-workers-speed-tips-and-fear-on-wheels.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&sq=delivery&st=cse&scp=1" target="_hplink">according to The New York Times</a>. But the incident is typical. The Times reported that restaurant delivery workers peddling take-out orders in dangerous conditions receive wages and tips that can drop well under minimum wage. Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevensnodgrass/" target="_hplink">Steve Snodgrass</a>
Arrested For Not Tipping
According to <a href="http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf?/base/news-1/125843433282150.xml&coll=3" target="_hplink">The Express-Times</a>, police arrested and gave a theft citation to John Wagner and Leslie Pope when they refused to pay a $16.35 required gratuity for their order of wings, drinks and salad. The pair alleged poor service at Lehigh Pub in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffreyww/" target="_hplink">jeffreyw</a>
Racially Profiling Tippers
Abe Shah and Hemang Virani, who are of Pakistani and Indian descent respectively, were charged an 18 percent gratuity because of the color of their skin, <a href="http://gothamist.com/2011/09/13/indian_restaurant_accused_of.php" target="_hplink">according to Gothamist</a>. A manager told the pair the charge applied to all patrons of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi descent. After the two men paid their bill, minus the additional gratuity, they were followed out of the restaurant by five employees and then verbally and physically attacked, <a href="http://images.nymag.com/images/2/daily/2011/09/12_baluchiscomplaint.pdf" target="_hplink">according to court papers</a>. Shah and Virani subsequently sued the restaurant for discrimination. Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephen-oung/" target="_hplink">SteFou!</a>
Denying Workers Tips
In one of Massachusetts' largest wage cases, a settlement required Canyon Ranch Spa in Lenox to return $14.75 million in tips denied to its employees, including waiters, massage therapists, yoga instructors, according to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/24/us/24canyon.html" target="_hplink">The New York Times.</a>