After spending 18 years in Miami, Bethany Provencher packed up and moved all the way to St. Charles, Illinois. Bethany, a hardworking single mom with an 11-year-old son, wanted to live closer to her only sister.
She signed a lease for a new apartment, but money had been tight, and she hadn’t been able to furnish it to her liking. So she used her 25 years of customer service experience to land a new job at IHOP. This way, she could keep the bills paid and hopefully buy some nice new furniture.
It was around the new year when a celebrity couple walked into IHOP and sat down in Bethany’s section for lunch. It was none other than actor and singer Donnie Wahlberg, his wife Jenny McCarthy, and their family.
Bethany was over the moon; not only was she a huge fan of the New Kids on the Block, but Donnie was always her favorite member of the infamous boy band.
His presence alone told her it was going to be a good year — but then he made her wildest dreams come true.
After lunch, Donnie paid their $78.45 check. He wrote, “Thanks, Bethany, Happy New Year,” on the receipt, along with a note that said, “2020 Tip Challenge,” beside a hand-drawn smiley face.
The singer folded up the receipt and told Bethany not to look at it until after he and Jenny left IHOP …