Tags: 17500 | tip | bartender | keno | ticket

$17,500 Tip: Bartender Given Winning Keno Ticket by Customer

Image: $17,500 Tip: Bartender Given Winning Keno Ticket by Customer Customer Jerry Arnett, left, congratulates bartender Aurora Kephart.

Monday, 07 Oct 2013 12:11 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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An Oregon bartender is counting her blessings after winning $17,500 from a Keno ticket last week that was given to her as a tip.

The bartender, Aurora Kephart, 25, was given two Keno tickets last Tuesday from a regular customer at the Conway Restaurant and Lounge in Springfield, who wanted to remain anonymous, according to the Register-Guard. Kephart won $5 on the first ticket but hit the jackpot with the second ticket. 

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"The look on his face was incredible," Kephart said. "I automatically handed it back to him; it was his ticket."

She told the Register-Guard that the man refused, and made her sign it so she could collect the prize.

"The reaction (in the bar) was crazy,” Kephart said. “Everyone was so amped up. I mean how often does that happen somewhere like Thurston? The bar is 80 percent regulars, so everyone knows everyone. People were so excited for me."

Kephart told ABC News that she drove down to the Oregon Lottery office in Salem to collect the winnings. She gave her benefactor a small percentage of the sum so she would feel better about taking home the money. 

"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."

Kephart said she hasn't spent any of the money aside from donating some to charities.

"I have not bought anything, not shoes, not a T-shirt," Kephart 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."

The bartender admitted to reporters that a new couch is in her near future.

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

Kephart said she plans to return to work Tuesday.

"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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