A Boston billionaire left a waitress a $5,000 tip on a $157 tab as part of a viral tipping challenge

The Boston-area billionaire Ernie Boch's $5,000 tip was inspired by a viral tipping challenge.

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The Boston-area billionaire Ernie Boch’s $5,000 tip was inspired by a viral tipping challenge.
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Jennifer Navaria/Facebook, Scott Eisen/Getty Images for VH1 Save The Music Foundation

After seeing a tipping challenge on Facebook, the Boston-area billionaire Ernie Boch decided to take it to the next level.

Boch decided to leave a $5,000 tip after a $157 meal at a beachfront seafood restaurant, Seaglass Restaurant, in Salisbury, Massachusetts, he confirmed to CBS Boston after the lucky waitress’ Facebook post about the tip went viral.

“Waiters and waitresses, they’re such fine people,” Boch told CBS Boston. “It really hit me. I don’t know what it was. There was a feeling – this person is amazing. That’s why I did it.”

Jennifer Navaria, the waitress who received the tip, wrote on Facebook that Boch’s generosity made “a job I really enjoy that much better.” Navaria told CBS Boston that she recognized Boch and enjoyed serving his four-person table. She didn’t see the tip until after the group had already left the restaurant.

“I looked down and thought, ‘Oh $50, that’s nice,'” Navaria told WBZ-TV. “On $157, that’s nice. I kind of looked again at the slip … I really had to look at the bottom line; that’s when I was shaking.”

ernie boch tip

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Jennifer Navaria/Facebook

The 2020 tipping challenge spread on social media after the actor Donnie Wahlberg left a $2,020 tip on a $78 tab on New Year’s Day, CNN reported. Most participants leave only $20 tips, however. On the receipt he left for Navaria, Boch wrote, “Donnie, your move.”

Boch built a billion-dollar fortune running 11 new- and used-car dealerships in the Boston area, according to Newsweek. He has a net worth of $1.1 billion, NBC Boston reported in 2018.

“It’s just one of those things you never think would ever happen to you,” Navaria told local reporters. “I’ve read about it over the years and never in a million years.”

Navaria didn’t immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.