SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — A Springfield bartender got the tip of a lifetime Tuesday night thanks to a generous regular and some pretty good luck.
Tuesday was trivia night at Conway’s Restaurant and Lounge. Although the focus ended up not being on trivia but Keno that night.
Along with being a bartender, Aurora Kephart also scans lottery tickets for hopeful winners. Kephart never thought that good fortune would fall back on her. “Not in my wildest dreams, absolutely not,” said Kephart.
She says one of her regular Keno players tips her through unplayed tickets.
“He’ll hold out the tickets and say pick which one you want.”
Kephart played her cards right because the payback was an unprecedented prize: $17, 500.
“I automatically handed back the ticket and I was like I’m sorry I can’t take it and he had me sign it and said you’re the only one who could cash it now,” said Kephart.
“I was wondering about what our customer thought about that,” said restaurant owner George Conway.
“I mean you do things with a good heart and good spirits but when something is that big. I mean you also wondering if he’s thinking ‘Man I should have kept that one,’ and it’s not that way with this guy at all,” said Conway.
Conway says if anyone is deserving of such a lavish gift, it’s Kephart.
“It couldn’t have happened to a nicer individual. It’s easy when you talk to her, you can easily tell why someone would be so nice to her as to give her a ticket,” he said.
But Kephart is still pretty humble about it and scratching her head at how a regular night at work could turn into the luck of a lifetime.
“Just took me off guard. You don’t even expect anything like that. It’s fantastic,” she said. “I kind of teared up and got misty-eyed.”
The gentleman who gave Kephart the winning ticket wanted to stay anonymous. Kephart plans to buy new couches with the money and save the rest. Even after this big win, she still came back to work the next day for another closing shift.