'Humble' Oregon Bartender Plans to Save Winnings From $17,500 Tip

PHOTO: Bartender Aurora Kephart receives winning lottery ticket worth $17,500
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A "humble" Oregon bartender still can't believe her luck after she won $17,500 on a Keno ticket given to her as a tip by one of her patrons.

Aurora Kephart, 25, who has been a bartender at Conway's Restaurant and Lounge in Springfield for nearly four years, told ABCNews.com that one of her regular customers gives her unplayed Keno tickets as tips.

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

The man, who Kephart said wishes to remain anonymous, told her to pick two tickets he had purchased on Oct 3.

When she checked his numbers, she found he hadn't won. Then, she checked her first ticket to find she had won $5.

But when she checked the second, the whole bar learned she had won the big prize before she even saw the prize earnings on the bar's screen.

"[When I saw,] I turned around and I automatically handed it right back to him," she said. "He had me sign it so nobody could steal it. Then he said, 'Now that you've signed it, you're the only person who could cash it.'"

The next day, Kephart drove out to the Oregon Lottery office in Salem to reap her winnings. She then gave her good luck charm a percentage of the winnings, she said.

"I forced him to take it. I'm too humble for that," Kephart said. "I absolutely just want to pay it forward. I don't intend to keep all that money for myself."

Other than donating some of her prize earnings to firefighters to benefit a muscular dystrophy charity, she said she hasn't spent a dime.

"I have not bought anything, not shoes, not a T-shirt," she said. "I have a couple of bills I'm going to pay off, but for the most part I'm just going to save it. I don't want to blow money just because I came into money."

Kephart said the only thing on her wish list right now was a new couch.

"It's the only thing I need," she said. "I'm set up and secure."

Since hitting the jackpot, Kephart finished out her work week on Friday. But after news broke of her good fortune, she noticed the clientele in the bar changed.

"We had one of the busiest days for a weekend in a long time," she said. "People were stopping by to see if this was the bar [with the winning Keno ticket]."

Kephart had the weekend off, but is still in shock, she said. She's looking forward to heading back into work on Tuesday to see her regular customers, who she says are like family.

"Everyone is so excited," Kephart said. "Everybody keeps saying good things happen to good people. I'm so glad so many people think that I'm deserving of that."

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