When bartender Stephanie Rarick saw the number of zeros on the tip a Giants fan left her at Wrigley Field on Saturday night at Game 2 of the series against San Francisco, she thought it was a mistake.
But there it was, written on the receipt: $5,000 on top of a $2,280 tab, paid for on an American Express credit card.
“I thought, ‘This can’t be real,’ ” said Rarick, 23, a manager at the DraftKings club, a patio bar on Addison that’s attached to Wrigley Field.
“I just couldn’t believe that one person could tip such a huge amount,” she said. “You never see anyone tip that well, ever.”
Written on the receipt was an optimistic, if unprophetic, note: Go Giants Game 5 Boom! Another note on the receipt said: Tips4Jesus.
The Cubs won the best of five series in four games.
Rarick and her colleague, Kathleen Houk — who also poured drinks for the man — decided to split the tip with the rest of the bartenders and servers working that night. The sum was divvied up among 26 people, each of whom got $192.
The tipster, who wanted to remain anonymous, blotted out his identity on the receipt with a pen. And Rarick insists she never did catch his name.
He and his wife were tall and both looked to be in their early 40s, Rarick said. He was clean-shaven and wore a Giants visor and an orange zip-up sweatshirt. She was in jeans, heals and a smart top.
“They were really well put together . . . and he was wearing a Giants World Series ring,” said Rarick, adding that it looked real enough.
The generous Giants fan initially bought everyone in the bar a round of shots of Fireball and Bushmills whiskey — $2,280 worth of booze — before leaving the uber gratuity.
Rarick thought something was up when she saw the man talking with security and her general manager before he bought the round of bourbon.
“We announced it on the intercom that this Giants fan was buying everyone shots, and it was pretty cool, everyone was saying thank you and shaking his hand,” Rarick said.
Conversation with the man was mostly baseball small talk, but the couple did say they were from San Francisco, she said.
Employees began posting pictures of the receipt on social media, and word of the tip mushroomed.
The couple had been to Game 1 on Friday and left a $200 tip on a $40 tab and a $100 tip on a $10 tab.
“I was like, ‘This guy has got to be somebody,’ ” said Rarick, who lives in Hammond, Indiana, where she is finishing her last semester at Purdue University Northwest to earn a hospitality management degree.
Rarick admitted she will probably do some internet sleuthing this week, trying to figure out his identity. She heard a rumor that it wasn’t the first big splash he had left on a credit card bill.
She figures the man must have posed for pictures with Cubs fans, some of which must have been posted online, and that’s a good place to start.
What will Rarick do with her share of the money?
“I’m a big saver,” she said.