The anonymous tipper who has left over $80,000 worth of tips to waiters throughout the country has been identified by a New York City waiter as Jack Selby, the former vice president of PayPal.com.
Selby dined at Bo's Kitchen & Bar Room in Manhattan along with two other patrons last week, and before signing his tab Selby told Aruj Dhawan, a waiter and student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, that he was about to make his night, surprising the server with a $1,000 generous tip.
"A stranger comes in and drops one thousand dollars. I was just really thankful," said Dhawan, according to the New York Post. "They called me over, gave me the check, I was amazed. They took a picture [with me] and literally, just like that, they walked out."
Dhawan tells the Post that Selby was one of a "very well-dressed" group of three, including a man and a woman who ordered $111.05 worth of beers, bourbon, pasta, shrimp, and pork chops. The receipt left by Selby was stamped with the words "@tipsforjesus," the name of the Instagram account with pictures of other waiters holding their tip receipts, all paid with an American Express credit card, ranging from $500 to more than $13,000.
Dhawan's tip was the most recent act of kindness by Selby, but allegedly he has left tips throughout various bars and restaurants in California, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois since September. Tips for Jesus also posted a picture of a $13,100 tip receipt from a resort in Punta Mita, Mexico, last week, the same day that the account posted another photo of a $3,500 tip at The Smith restaurant in New York City, which suggests that the generous tip campaign could be part of a larger group effort.
According to the Post, Dhawan's manager, Benjamin Cramer, questioned Selby about the tip and says that he was told, "Just because. We tip a hundred times the bill."
Selby, a San Francisco-based financier, and one of the original PayPal executives, made a fortune when the online payments company was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002. Since leaving PayPal, he has dabbled in film production and other capital ventures. Although he has not officially confirmed to be behind the mysterious gratuities, Selby did take to Facebook last month to share an Indiana-based South Bend Tribune article about the Tips for Jesus Instagram account.
Tips for Jesus also takes credit for a spree of big tips left at two Ogden, Utah-area restaurants in August. The servers in both establishments were tipped $5,000 and $1,000 each.
ValleyWag, a blog hosted by the gossip site Gawker, cited anonymous sources when it also revealed Selby as the mystery tipper last week.