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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Bartender Moved to Tears When Businessman Leaves Her $2,020 Tip on $64 Bill

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It wasn’t long after the new year was welcomed that a new “2020 Challenge” erupted on social media. No, this challenge didn’t require buckets of ice water or brooms standing upright on their own; it was a little more sacrificial.

The idea is to leave a nice tip for servers in some 2020-related amount, whether that’s $20.20 or $2,020.

Donnie Wahlberg was one of the first to jump on the trend publicly, and his wife tweeted about his gift.

Not all of us are Wahlbergs, and others have still participated by giving in smaller amounts. But there are still people of monetary means out there blessing unsuspecting victims.

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Carey Lynn Likens is a bartender at a Holiday Inn in Columbus, Ohio. She’s been working through a season of illness, and on her first night back on the job, she served someone she had seen before and was able to recall his details, which clearly impressed him.

Enough so that he left her a $2,020 tip on a $64 bill.

“I kind of gasped,” Likens told WXIN-TV. “I just never thought in a million years that I would get that in Columbus, Indiana, serving drinks at the Holiday Inn.

“It was my first day back, so it was a nice surprise.”

Of course, she posted the evidence on Facebook, where her story started taking off.

“What a blessing first night back at work from being off sick! #2020tipchallenge #goodpeopleamongus — feeling blessed at Holiday Inn Columbus,” she posted on Jan. 29.

“I’ve been off sick for a little bit so it was definitely a HUGE blessing,” she added in a response to a comment on her post. “Tears shot out of my eyes ?. Genuine #goodpeople are out there.”

She also explained that she’d recognized the client from a previous encounter, which may have tipped the scales in her favor.

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“[H]e was super awesome and it was because I’m good too jk? lol. I remembered him from Indigo at Christmas and his family and a lot of detail, I have a crazy near photographic memory so he was pretty impressed. Some people have A LOT of money and want to share it from time to time. I was literally ? shocked.”

Jessica Mettin, the hotel’s general manager, said she was shocked when she heard about the generous patron.

“Yes, and I was like, ‘What? No way!'” she said. “I couldn’t believe it, but it’s true!”

“I was completely caught off guard,” Likens said. “Never thought that would happen to me.”

The encounter has encouraged her and reassured her that not everyone out there is looking to take advantage of others.

“There are good people out there. They’re all over,” Likens said. “They’re walking among us, and you never know who’s going to do a huge gesture for you. So pay it forward and make sure to just be a good person.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking