Pizza Hut Waitress Gets $10,000 Tip

Jessica Osborne got a very generous gift from a family of regulars.

ByABC News via logo
July 13, 2007, 9:20 AM

July 13, 2007 — -- It was just a typical day on the job at the Pizza Hut in Angola, Ind., for 20-year-old Jessica Osborne when out of the blue, she received a gift that would change her life: a $10,000 tip from one of her customers.

"When I opened it up, I just I thought maybe I read too many zeros and I lost my breath," Osborne said on "Good Morning America." "It was amazing."

The tip of a lifetime came from a family of regular customers. Every Friday, Becky and her family, who asked that their last name not be used, come in and order the same thing: a Meatlovers pizza, half pepperoni, half black olives and mushrooms. Becky said Osborne always came to the table with a smile on her face.

"She was sweet and bright and cheerful and never complained," Becky said. "She was just a sweet waitress."

But Osborne had recently been let down by financial troubles that were keeping her ambitions at bay. She had enrolled in a local college but was forced to withdraw because of a lack of financial aid. She told Becky's family about the textbooks she had bought and kept in the trunk of her car and her dreams to become a photographer.

"I thought, 'This is a very generous person,'" Becky said, "and we enjoyed just talking to her, finding out about her life."

Osborne got to know Becky and her family through their weekly pizza dinners, but she didn't realize that they had recently suffered a great tragedy. Becky's husband and eldest daughter were killed in a car accident, and she had been left with a large settlement.

Once Becky heard about Osborne's broken dreams, she decided to use some of the money from the settlement to make them come true.

"We decided we needed to help Jessica and she was there, we were there, and it just seemed like the right thing to do," Becky said.

Osborne is deciding where to go to school, relieved that she now has the money to pay for it. For now, she's still getting over the shock of the much more than 15-percent tip.

"It's unbelievable. It doesn't happen to people every day," she said. "I mean, I work at Pizza Hut!"