When she found $1,000 on a chair in her section, Florida waitress Samantha Knight knew the right thing to do would be to track its owner down and return it to him. There was no way she could have known the man she chased after and handed the wad of cash to was the wrong person.
"I wish I had just held on to it and waited for someone to call. But I thought I was giving it to the right guy," Knight told NBC 2.
Unfortunately, as she soon learned, the money's actual owner was a Chicago resident who was dining in the same section, and who had exited the restaurant one minute earlier.
Chuck Behm was already back in his home town when he realized his money was missing.
Knight never expected to see the other man again, but, five days later, there he suddenly was, back at Laishley Crab House in Punta Gorda.
The man, who was visiting from out of town, insisted it was all a "misunderstanding," and that he came in as soon as he saw himself on the news.
"He said, 'I'm from Delaware. The money was in my wallet underneath other stuff. I'm in town buying stuff, so I had that much money,'" Knight recalled.
The unidentified stranger then gave Knight $100 for her inconvenience and disappeared.
But the biggest Christmas miracle was yet to come: Behm, the money's rightful owner, told Knight she could keep it. All of it.
"I called my mom and was like, 'I can't believe it,'" Knight said. "I called the guy and I was like, 'are you sure?'"
He was. Behm told Knight he wanted her to have the money as a Christmas gift to help her with the expenses of her pregnancy.
Knight is due in April. It's a girl.
[screengrab via NBC2]