Ellen DeGeneres Rewards Waitress Who Paid Soldiers' Tab During Shutdown With $10,000

October 21, 2013

A New Hampshire waitress who picked up the lunch tab of two National Guard soldiers affected by the federal government's shutdown has been repaid — more than 300 times over — by television star Ellen DeGeneres.

Sarah Hoidahl, a waitress in Concord, N.H., just wanted to do a nice thing for the soldiers, so she recently picked up their lunch tab. It cost her $27.75.

On Friday, DeGeneres squared the tab and then some, giving Hoidahl $27.75 in cash and a check for $10,000.

An emotional Hoidahl buried her face in her hands and thanked DeGeneres as the talk show host repeated "You're a good person."

DeGeneres caught wind of Hoidahl's act of kindness when the New Hampshire National Guard posted a picture on its Facebook page. The story spread quickly online, producers saw it and invited Hoidahl to Hollywood.

waitress pays soldiers tab

Ellen also gave her a 50-inch television.

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