A $25 million lottery winner left an extremely generous tip for a Saskatchewan restaurateur whose daughter was recently diagnosed with cancer.
Bob Erb was traveling from his home in Terrace, British Columbia, to Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan, to bury his father’s ashes when he passed through Cliff Luther’s Old West Express diner in Chamberlain. While Erb was there, Luther shared that his 25-year-old daughter — who also lives in British Columbia — had been diagnosed with cancer just hours before they met.
“He was emotional about it, just as any parent would be in that kind of situation,” Erb told the Vancouver Sun. Luther’s story resonated with Erb, whose 26-year-old son, Robert Jr., died of a drug overdose in the summer of 2008. BJ, as he was known, had been charged with producing and trafficking nearly $2 million worth of marijuana two years prior to his death.
Erb stopped by the restaurant again a couple of days after his first visit. He ordered a burger and fries and asked Luther for a pen.
“He asked for a pen and said, ‘Here, you can just take the bill out of that,’” Luther said. “It was a check for $10,000. He just kind of said, ‘If you need to get out there quickly, this will help you.’”
Erb said that Luther was “so overwhelmed, so befuddled by it that I ended up having to flip my own burger because he was real emotional.”
Erb, who has been a marijuana activist for over a decade — even running as a candidate for the British Columbia Marijuana Party in 2001 — won the $25 million Lotto Max jackpot in November 2012, and has since been known as Terrace’s benefactor, giving out checks to neighbors and businesses who need help.
His tip to Luther wasn’t his only large donation — Erb gave neighbors Janette and Michael Searle $10,000, which will help them complete a day care center they hope to start in their basement.
Bob Erb isn’t the only generous lottery winner out there. In Zephyrhills, Florida, a Powerball winner paid $2,600 for nearly 200 people dining at a restaurant called BuddyFreddy’s in Plant City, and gave each of the five servers $50 tips.
But people like “Miss Jo” prove that you don’t need to be a lottery winner to share the wealth. Miss Jo, a regular of an Indianapolis Steak ‘n Shake, left waitress CeCe Bruce a $446 tip on a bill that was only $5.97.
What do you think of Bob Erb’s $10,000 tip to Cliff Luther?