Getting lotto tickets in lieu of a tip is nothing like the movies — unless you take home the jackpot, that is.

Aurora Kephart, a 25-year-old waitress and bartender from Springfield, Oregon, says one of the regulars at Conway's Restaurant and Lounge regularly hands her unplayed Keno tickets as a tip.

"He lets me take whatever tickets I would want," she told ABC News. "That's a normal thing between us."


When Kephart picked two tickets out of the man's stack last Thursday, she didn't expect them to make up for their cash value, and was content to discover that one of them was worth $5.

But she was even more content to discover that the other one was worth $17,500.


"The look on his face was incredible," Kephart told the (Eugene) Register-Guard. "I automatically handed it back to him; it was his ticket."

But the unidentified patron wouldn't hear of it. "

He had me sign it so nobody could steal it," she recalled. "Then he said, 'Now that you've signed it, you're the only person who could cash it.'"

After cashing it the following day, she went back to the bar and insisted the man accept some of the money.

"I just couldn’t not give him some of it," Kephart said.

The rest of the money is earmarked for charity, bills, a rainy day, and a couch, which Kephart said she was recently close to purchasing before being scared off by the price.

"I never realized how expensive couches were," she told the Register-Guard. "Instead of waiting till Christmas or later, now I can buy something I really need."

[video via KEZI]