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A Michigan restaurant server got a $2,020 tip on a $23 meal for the New Year. It’s part of the 2020 Tip Challenge

Jan 1, 2020, 1:16 PM | Updated: Jan 3, 2020, 3:00 pm
Guest check with Cash and Coin on white background. Photo: Getty Images...
Guest check with Cash and Coin on white background. Photo: Getty Images

(CNN) — It’s never a bad idea to start the New Year on a generous note.

Danielle Franzoni, a server in Alpena, Michigan, started hers on the receiving end of that generosity. She waited on a couple at the restaurant where she works during the final days of 2019.

Their bill was $23. They tipped a festive $2,020.

“Happy New Year,” the anonymous couple wrote on the bill. “2020 Tip Challenge.”

Franzoni couldn’t believe it. She asked her boss whether it was too good to be true, but the tip was legit — and seasonally appropriate.

“Things like this don’t happen to people like me,” she told the Alpena Times.

It had been a difficult year for Franzoni. She moved to Alpena to “start over,” she said, as a recovering addict who’d lived in a homeless shelter.

But with her customers’ generosity, she could see the clouds starting to clear. She even moved into her own home the same week.

“I”m gonna build a future because of this,” she told CNN affiliate WXYZ. “My kids have a future, and I have a home. It’s a really big deal.”

Tipping servers for the New Year

The kind act that landed Franzoni $2,020 is similar to another tipping challenge — “Tip the Bill” — which took off in 2018. Customers were encouraged to tip 100% and surprise their servers.

It seems the only stipulation of the 2020 tipping challenge is to keep the year in the total.

If you partake in New Year tipping, you don’t have to go big — Franzoni told the Alpena Times she later tipped a server $20.20 on her dinner bill.

“That was my ‘pay-it-forward,'” she said. “I couldn’t do the other one.”

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A Michigan restaurant server got a $2,020 tip on a $23 meal for the New Year. It’s part of the 2020 Tip Challenge