An Ottawa-area woman waiting tables to pay for university will have an easier time covering the cost of her textbooks thanks to a $1,000 tip from a stranger.

Danijela Memetaj, 21, was working at an East Side Mario’s restaurant in Arnprior, Ont., on Sunday when a man added an 8,300-per-cent gratuity on the bill for his $12 omelette and coffee.

Memetaj, who studies law at Carleton University, says she noticed the tip just as the man was walking out.

“I was like, ‘Is this serious? Is this actual?’” she tells CTV Ottawa. “He was like ‘Yup, have a good day,’ and left.”

Memetaj says the man told her to use some of the tip to pay the bill of a nearby table and to give some to the bartender. She gave $100 to the bartender and the same to the cook.

Memetaj says no one seems to know much about the man, except that he occasionally stays in a hotel nearby. Whoever he is, he had offered the staff some advice: money isn’t everything.

Memetaj says she had read about waitresses getting surprisingly large tips, but never expected it would happen to her. “It’s crazy,” she said.

Her manager, Janet Forsyth, called it “exciting.”

“These girls work hard. They do their best every day and to have something like that happen in this small town, it was pretty exceptional,” she said.

With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Joanne Schnurr