Anonymous Denny's 'Angel' Is Revealed
He left a $1.5K tip for his single-mom waitress
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2016 2:40 PM CDT
File photo of a Denny’s in Las Vegas.   (Photo by Jeff Bottari/AP Images for Denny’s)

(Newser) – A anonymous big tipper with a kind heart is anonymous no more. As Fox 5 DC explains, a man walked into a Denny's in Utah and specifically asked for a waitress who was a single mother. After watching other diners for about two hours, the man paid for the meals of several families and then left a $1,500 tip for his server. A worker there made the story about this "angel" public via a Facebook post, writing, "I asked, 'Why did you do that?' You simply said, ‘Family is everything, I’ve lost all mine.'" While the man left before anyone asked his name, the Fox station has identified him as Briggs VanNess, and it got him to elaborate on his good deed. Years ago, he explains, he ran into trouble with the law. "I was facing prison and getting in trouble and it ended up causing me to lose my family because I was a really terrible person."

VanNess says he has since turned his life around and is making a point to help others, as his hard-working mother taught him to do. In an interview with the Daily Mail, he adds that he makes it a point to ask for a single mom as a waitress "because I'd rather give my money to her rather than the girl who goes out every night to party." As the for extraordinarily large tip that day—it helped the waitress move out of a homeless shelter, according to the Facebook post—he calls it a spur-of-the-moment decision. He was on his way from Los Angeles back home to Colorado when he stopped to eat. "It was around the holidays and I was pretty lonely, just felt like doing it." (Amy Schumer recently left a comparable tip.)