Cracker Barrel Waitress Receives Tip Of A Lifetime. "Don't Thank Us, Thank God"

January 6, 2014

huge tip
© Lincoln Journal Star

A Nebraska waitress received far more than just a tip when she served two inquisitive customers this week.

Abigail Sailors says one of the men wrote her a $5,000 college tuition check and a $1,000 check for personal use, on top of a $100 tip that she split with another server.

The men had walked into a Lincoln Cracker Barrel restaurant on Thursday for lunch and asked the hostess to give them her grumpiest server, according to the Lincoln Journal Star ( ). The hostess responded that no one was grumpy, so she would seat them with her happiest server.

At Table 222, the men asked the 18-year-old Sailors for the turkey and dressing special, with eggs and sausage. And they asked why she was so happy.

Sailors told them about growing up as the youngest of five children from Falls City, according to the newspaper. She told them about her mother's brain injury in a Missouri car crash and how her father wasn't fit to care for them. She recounted a youth spent in foster homes, sometimes separated from her siblings. But she said she still felt blessed.

She said she and her siblings found stability about nine years ago, when John and Susi Sailors took them in.

"It's a great home, great people, amazing," said Abigail, who took their last name. "I don't know how I would have turned out if I didn't have them. They shaped the person I am today."

Sailors told the men that she's trying to put herself through Trinity Bible College in North Dakota, where she's studying youth ministry and psychology. She didn't have enough money for the spring semester, so she began saving her wages and tips to add to her financial aid, with plans to return next fall. She was considering online courses until then.

"I'm just thankful," Sailors said. "Everything we went through, my attitude is: God blessed me with a lot of things."

The customers — one older, one middle-aged — kept asking questions. Abigail kept answering. She didn't know them. They weren't regulars at the north Lincoln restaurant. She did learn they were from Nebraska, and she learned their names, but told the Journal Star she didn't feel right sharing them.

huge tip
© Lincoln Journal Star

When the men were finished eating, one told her he had graduated from Trinity. He opened his checkbook and wrote the checks.

"I couldn't believe it," Sailors said. "I tried to thank them, and they said, 'Thank God.'"

Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was distributed through the NewsCred Smartwire. Original article © The Associated Press 2014

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