Edmonton Man Buys 500 Coffees at Tim Hortons in an Inspiring Random Act of Kindness

There's nothing quite like the rich, invigorating smell of fresh, brewed coffee, and it tastes even better when you stop by your favorite coffee shop and find out that your cup of joe is free. That's just what happened at a Tim Hortons in downtown Edmonton on Monday after a man generously paid it forward and bought large coffees for the next 500 customers, surprising coffee-loving patrons until the 8:30 the next morning.

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The kind-hearted man, who appeared to be in his mid-to-late 20s, asked how many cups of coffee they typically sell in a day. He then asked the cashier to add 500 large coffees to his order, which included a double-double and a Boston cream doughnut for himself. With a quick swipe of his debit card, he paid the nearly $900 bill and walked away. Manager Joanne Averion told Yahoo! Shine he wasn't a regular customer, and he didn't want to be identified. "We were trying to ask why," she said, "but he didn't want to give a reason and wanted to be anonymous."

Customers were stunned and in disbelief when they found out their cup of Tim Hortons coffee was free that day. "Some were asking why, and so we would tell them the story," explained Averion. "They couldn't believe it, and so we would show them the receipt proving it."

She added that she had previously seen customers make kind gestures by purchasing the next five or so coffees for people in line, but never 500. "It was huge," said Averion. "He's amazing and surprised everybody. We hope we can see him again to tell him thank you."

According to the Canadian Press, the mystery man's gesture has inspired at least five other generous java buyers to pay it forward this week. In Ottawa, a city bus supervisor, who is soon to retire, bought 500 morning coffees, and another good Samaritan bought a round of 500 coffees in Calgary, too. Tim Hortons spokesperson Michelle Robichaud told the Canadian Press, "If ever there was going to be a copycat, this is the one you would want."

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It's not the first time we've seen such random acts of kindness restore our faith in humanity. In May, an Iowa woman celebrated her 34th birthday with 34 acts of kindness, like handing out Subway restaurant gift cards to homeless people and thanking firefighters with boxes of chocolate. An Ohio teen in February decided to honor her late great-grandmother with 89 random acts of kindness, including paying the $5 bill of the customer behind her at the McDonald's drive-thru. Last year, celebrating his 65th birthday, a man gave away free money in Oklahoma City, handing out $5 bills to people for 65 minutes. Sometimes, it's the little things that can make someone's day a little brighter.

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