Just who was she?
An older woman who visited BuddyFreddys on Sunday with another older woman and younger man paid the bill for every customer in the restaurant – all 180 of them.
The random act of kindness had customers wondering if it could have been the record Powerball jackpot winner Gloria C. MacKenzie, of Zephyrhills, which is less than 20 miles away.
But George Weaver, the BuddyFreddys manager on duty at the time, doesn’t think it was the 84-year-old who won the $590 million jackpot.
“It didn’t look at all like her, based on what I’ve seen on TV,” Weaver said. “To my knowledge it was not the Powerball winner.”
Customers drive great distances to eat at BuddyFreddys, a buffet restaurant known for its Southern cuisine that traces its roots back nearly 60 years. The restaurant with porches and rocking chairs off Thonotosassa Road and Interstate 4 gets plenty of customers from nearby Zephyrhills, Weaver said.
The woman paid $1,000 in cash and the younger man put another $950 on a credit card. He later called the restaurant and asked that another $300 be added to the credit card for a $50 tip for each of the six servers on duty.
Weaver said the name on the credit card was not Scott MacKenzie, the winner’s son. He would not disclose the name on the card to protect the privacy of the customer.
Weaver said he’s never seen any random act of kindness like it in his 10 years in the restaurant business. Stephanie Reaves, who has been a restaurant manager for 35 years, including more than 20 years at BuddyFreddys, said she’s never heard of such generosity, either.
“It’s an absolute miracle,” Reaves said.
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