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Local waitress receives $600 tip

Nick Shepherd • Oct 24, 2015 at 7:30 PM

KINGSPORT — After paying for her 2-year-old son’s birthday party, Lauren Ball was broke.

She was set to leave on a vacation with her father to Florida. Ball was putting in one last shift at Waffle House on Stone Drive to try to make as much money as possible before leaving. It was a Wednesday and Ball knew she would be lucky to make $30 on that particular night. If she made $60, she knew she’d be having a great night.

After joking with some customers she was serving about Harry Potter (and was thoroughly outnerded), she stepped outside to have a smoke. One of the men she had been talking to came outside and the two began talking.

The man told her she was about to get a $200 or $300 tip. She did not believe it. The other man came out and showed his friend a picture of the tip he had left for Ball. Almost immediately, the cook came outside and asked the patron if the tip was real. He said it was.

Ball went inside to see what it was. He had left her a $600 tip.

“It took my breath away,” she said. “It made me sick to my stomach, but in a good way.”

Ball ran outside, tears streaming down her face, and hugged the man, whom she had never met before. She asked him why he would do something like that for her because she was a stranger. He replied that he liked doing nice things for people.

Ball said nothing like this ever happens to her. She said she was a single mother who gets no support from her son’s father and is about to go back to school. Her biggest previous tip had come last month and it was $100.

After spending money on her son for his birthday, she said the man was a godsend.

“I told him he was an angel,” she said.

 

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