South Bend, Ind. The University of Notre Dame says its inquiry into a mysterious $10,000 tip is complete and the bartenders should get their money within two days.
Back in October, a group of mystery men left the tip of a lifetime while visiting a Notre Dame bar.
They stopped by Legends of Notre Dame twice on Oct. 19 – before and after the USC game.
Both times, the men bought a few drinks.
And, each time, they left a $5,000 tip.
“Our mouth just opened up and, we’re like, ‘Are you serious? Is this real?’” said Legends bartender Ashley Sullivan. “The next couple days, we were just waiting to hear something about it. Because, you never know, somebody could be messing around.”
The men gave no explanation for their generosity and signed the receipt ‘@tipsforjesus,’posting a photo of the bartenders with their tab on an Instagram account with the same name.
“It makes you feel good,” Sullivan said. “It makes you feel like the job you do is actually noticed by people. How hard you work.”
But, the four girls who the men tipped haven’t seen any of the money.
They say the University of Notre Dame, which owns the bar, thought the generous amount was fraudulent.
“We were supposed to receive that money on our check three weeks after that,” said bartender Ashley Rust. “Our general manager was like, ‘No, you're not going to get that money on that check. They're looking into it. They think it's fraud.’”
Some of the women met with the university to resolve the issue, but waited for more than a month for answers.
The University of Notre Dame released the following statement about the $10,000 tip: “Notre Dame has been working with American Express on this matter to determine the validity of the tip. We hope that question can be resolved soon.”
The men behind @tipsforjesus are responding on Instagram. Last week, they posted a picture of what appears to be a transaction record with the caption, “Let's be clear, the Legends of Notre Dame tips were processed by AMEX and paid. tipsforjesus pays its tabs. God bless! @notredame Your move.”
Sullivan says the bartenders have been in contact with the men responsible for the tip. They’ve offered to help them in any way they can.
On Tuesday, Notre Dame said they were able to determine, with the help of American Express, the tip was valid.
The women say they have big plans for the money.
“I know one bartender is wanting to get a car because, right now, she has no transportation,” Sullivan said. “The other bartender has student loans. We've all been to college, so we all have that debt right there. I mean, it's Christmastime. You all want to be able to buy your kid that gift.”
NewsCenter 16 contacted several other bars mentioned on the @tipsforjesus Instagram account.
A manager at Moondogs Too in Port Orchard, Washington says the men left a $5,000 tip on Saturday. The generous amount initially raised fraud concerns, but he says it appears the transaction was approved. The men, who wish to remain anonymous, did provide the bartender with their names, phone numbers and places of work, as a safeguard.
And, back in September, @tipsforjesus handed out a $3,000 tip at Bar Louie in Ann Arbor.The restaurant manager says there were no problems with the tip being approved.