The nearly half-million dollar check was the customer's down payment on her new home

By Helen Murphy
May 10, 2019 01:18 PM
Patsy's Pizzeria 
Alamy

Now that’s some serious dough!

That’s what a waiter at Patsy’s Pizzeria in New York City must have thought when he found a cashier’s check for $424,000 left behind at a table he had waited on earlier that day. The check belonged to Karen Vinacour, according to the New York Daily News.

Vinacour didn’t leave a tip on the table when she left the restaurant, but the check was accidentally left in a folded envelope that waiter Armando Markaj found when he was cleaning off the table on Saturday.

When Markaj found the check, he gave it to the owner of the restaurant for safekeeping.

“Normally we just put things left behind in the lost and found box in the back,” he told the Daily News. “But I wasn’t going to do that with almost half a million dollars.”

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Meanwhile, Vinacour didn’t realize she was missing the check until Sunday night. She had stopped by Patsy’s with her daughter the previous day after looking at a condo she wanted to buy, and the check she left behind was her down payment on the home.

“We’d pulled out my papers to go through the all the financials again,” Vinacour told the Daily News. “I had no idea we left it behind.”

Upon realizing she had lost it, Vinacour went to the bank and asked them to void the check — what she thought would be a simple process. However, because the check was a cashier’s check, the bank told her they would have to wait at least three months before cancelling it.

“My world just collapsed,” she told the outlet.

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Eventually, the owner of the pizzeria called the Daily News for help, and the publication tracked down Vinacour.

“I can’t believe it, I’m so relieved. You have no idea. I’m jumping in a cab, I’ll be there right away,” Vinacour said when the Daily News called her from Patsy’s.

Once at the restaurant and reunited with her money, Vinacour even apologized to Markaj for not tipping him, explaining that she and her daughter were miffed at his response when they asked why there weren’t many photos of women on the walls of the restaurant. (“Maybe women don’t eat a lot of pizza?” Vinacour remembered him saying.)

There’ll be at least one more photo of a woman on the walls of Patsy’s from now on, though.

“We’re going to take a picture here today with you,” the pizzeria owner said during the joyful reunion, “and I’m going to put that on the wall, too.”

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