When Bob Erb asked for a pen so he could pay for his burger and fries by cheque, restaurant owner Cliff Luther wasn't expecting the cheque to be for $10,000.
Luther, owner of Chamberlain, Saskatchewan restaurant Old West Express, had recently shared with diner Erb, who was travelling from his home in Terrance, British Columbia, to Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan, for the internment of his father's ashes, that his 25-year-old daughter had been diagnosed with cancer. Like Erb, Luther's daughter lives in British Columbia.
Erb returned to the restaurant a few days after his first meal and ordered another meal.
"He asked for a pen and said, 'Here, you can just take the bill out of that,'" Luther told the Vancouver Sun.
"It was a cheque for $10,000. He just kind of said, 'If you need to get out there quickly, this will help you.'"
Erb told the Vancouver Sun that Luther's story resonated with him, as he lost his 26-year-old son to cancer almost 5 years ago.
"It certainly lightens the load for us," Luther said of the generous gift.
"You kind of think, 'Why would someone do that for somebody they don’t even know?' It's really lifted my spirits. There are just some really caring people out there."
Since Erb won the $25-million Lotto Max jackpot last fall, he's been making headlines for his generous contributions to campaigns for the legalization of marijuana. A $1-million donation bankrolled 420 Day, an official nationwide day that celebrates the joys of smoking up.
He's also now known as Terrace, B.C.'s benefactor, where he hands out cheques to neighbours and businesses in need. He plans to set up a charitable foundation to give $2 million to non-profit groups in town.
"I've done it all my life," Erb said of his giving. "I'm just able to give more (now), but I've always spread my meagre offerings."