Star Ellen DeGeneres gives waitress a huge tips
Star Ellen DeGeneres gives waitress a huge tips

Star Ellen DeGeneres gives waitress a huge tips

A New Hampshire waitress who picked up the lunch tab of two National Guard soldiers affected by the federal government’s shutdown has been repaid — more than 300 times over — by television star Ellen DeGeneres.

Sarah Hoidahl, a waitress in Concord, N.H., just wanted to do a nice thing for the soldiers, so she recently picked up their lunch tab. It cost her $27.75.

On Friday, DeGeneres squared the tab and then some, giving Hoidahl $27.75 in cash and a check for $10,000.

“I always end each show by saying be kind to one another, and our first guest is a waitress from Henniker, N.H., who did just that,” Ellen DeGeneres told her audience. “Please welcome Sarah Hoidahl.”

“Oh my god, my heart was beating out of my chest and I was like, ‘I really hope I don’t fall,’” Hoidahl said after her TV appearance.

The bill was $27.75, but the 22-year-old single mother, who didn’t even own a television, covered the tab.

DeGeneres decided to repay the act of kindness.

“I got you a brand-new 50-inch Insignia television,” DeGeneres said.

“She gave me a TV and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this isn’t happening,’ and then I was like, ‘Oh my God, I have a TV, I can watch Ellen now,’ and then she brought the checkbook out,” Hoidahl said.

Hoidahl, who watched the pre-taped show with family and fellow students at New England College, said the $10,000 check means a lot.

“In that moment when she opened it and I saw, I just couldn’t even contain my emotions. I just started crying,” she said. “I have medical bills, student loans, some debt to pay off. Obviously, I have a 15-month-old. I do plan on donating some of it to charity.”

She’ll be back at work for the lunch shift Monday.

“It feels like I’m dreaming and I’m going to wake up and I’m going to be like, ‘Oh man, I wish that was real,’” Hoidahl said.


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