A St. Louis bartender was given what could have been one of the biggest tips ever reported had the card company of the tipper not rejected the amount.
According to Daily Mail, the restaurant worker was given a $200,000 tip on a debit card that the card company said could not be approved.
A Reddit user going by the name “randomdazee,” who claimed to be a bartender in the Missouri city, recently posted a picture of a receipt on the site with $200,000 handwritten in the space for a tip.
In the post, the waitress, who described herself as a bartender and server, named “Sara” according to the receipt, said two women and a man had come into the restaurant and racked up a $111.54 bill.
Whoever handled the bill apparently could not add up correctly as the receipt suggests the waitress could have gone home with $210,889.
But when the girl spoke to Visa, she was reportedly told that the bank would not fulfill “excessive tips,” sparking claims from other Redditors that the tip was simply a scam to get out of paying the bill entirely.
The post by randomdazee began: “Today the absolute weirdest thing happened to me, ever.
“We’re pretty slow during lunch shifts. I was working by myself and had literally only had one table the entire shift when about a half hour before close two mid-20s sisters walked in and said another person would be meeting them.
“I had been bored the entire shift and basically just filling the time with doing mundane cleaning tasks so actual human interaction was pretty exciting. They were pretty nice.
“One of the sisters was taking the other out after she had gone through a pretty big personal trauma and she obviously wanted to show her sister a good time.
They ordered quite a few things and a gentleman met them.”
The post went on to describe how the bartender never expected the tip, despite one of the women dropping lots of hints throughout the meal.
“Throughout the meal the sister that was treating the other one would flag me down and talk with me and kept saying things like ‘Don’t tell my sister how I tip.
“’Today I’m your guardian angel.’ Etc., etc.,” the post read.
“I’ve worked in restaurants forever and can tell you from experience that usually people who say things like this are full of s***.
“But she seemed to be tossing a LOT of cash around to her guests and the situation was just bizarre. She asked for the check only a few minutes after we closed (which is super nice and courteous anyway, often we have people walk in right before we close and hang out for ages which forces me to stay later).”
Then came the tip she could not believe was real:
“She signed the receipt (paid with a normal looking Visa debit) after I brought her the check. I don’t like to be rude and look at or pick up the checks before the person has left and since she told me explicitly not to react to the check in front of her sister I especially didn’t want to on this check.
“They leave and I look at the receipt and yeah. $200,000.”
But any notion that she had just randomly become the luckiest girl in St. Louis quickly faded as the post describes what happened when she went to declare the tip:
“Being realistic and not insane I immediately ran to get my manager. He was in a meeting but the corporate office for our entire restaurant is two floors above the restaurant I work at so I ran up there to grab someone and they were empty too.
“I called the marketing director who I had just seen previously and my manager finally gets back from the meeting he was in and the marketing director and my manager were both as incredulous as I was.
“They decided to call the credit card processing company. I basically couldn’t function at this point because even though I was pretty suspicious it’s still pretty life changing to even think about getting that kind of money just for being courteous and doing your job.”
The bartender said Visa then completely destroyed her excitement by explaining its policy on “excessive tips.”
“Basically, the gist of it is that banks don’t honor payouts on excessive tips,” she wrote. “(Apparently they can bounce back tips that are even over 30% of the bill… which is kind of crazy because I often receive those kind of tips on tabs of regulars or other industry workers.)
“Although they did say that things like this actually happens pretty often like when someone wins the lottery or a jackpot at the casino, receives a lot of money in a settlement or inheritance, or was already wealthy but terminally ill with little time left. I guess nobody actually ever gets the payout on it.
“I didn’t even attempt to close out the check for $200,000 obviously so who knows if that kind of money was even in the account. But yeah, it was still a pretty exciting and crazy afternoon.”
Responses to the post imply that the woman who left the tip knew exactly what she was doing.
“SHE WAS TRYING TO SCAM YOU!” wrote one user. “Basically it gets the guest out of paying their bill. If the server were to reconcile their transactions at the end of the night the entire transaction would be flagged and a stop payment would be put in place immediately.
“If by some miracle the transaction were approved all the cardholder has to do is call in and say its fraud, boom charges reversed.”
“That is a common scam,” wrote another Redditor. “I used to be a bartender, and every once in a while that would happen. The person just has to put something “impossible” on the bill, and Visa will not process it.”
Visa is yet to respond with a statement on their card regulations.