Ohio universities’ tipping rivalry spreads to Florida with $2,800 left for restaurant’s staff

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An escalating rivalry among college basketball fans in Ohio to leave big tips at restaurants has spilled over to Florida, where generous patrons have started a tipping challenge of their own.

The “Crosstown Tip-Off” has already seen fans of Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati give tens-of-thousands of dollars combined to workers at businesses in the Cincinnati area since last month.

Now, two diners at a restaurant in Jupiter, Florida have also taken up the challenge, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

One patron at Kirby’s Sports Grille left a $1,300 tip on top of a $29.75 bill, according to the report. It included a note stating: “Let’s got XU (and UC) nation! Let’s get this to the national level.”

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Sean Kirby, the restaurant owner, told the newspaper that he’d never heard of the Crosstown Tip-Off before.

“It has something to do with your colleges, right?” he told the Enquirer.

The tipping challenge is named after the annual “Crosstown Shootout” between the two schools’ basketball teams.

Xavier won the latest matchup in December, but fans had to stay home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A few weeks later, fans began showing their school pride by leaving messages supporting one team or the other on receipts with big tips.

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Less than an hour after the first tip at Kirby’s, another generous diner who heard about it also left a big tip: $1,500 for a bill of $71.19.

The server, Kimberly Filion, shook when she saw the first tip and cried when she saw the second, according to the report. She told the Enquirer that the money was much-needed during the pandemic.

“The service industry has taken the brunt of this,” the single mother of four told the newspaper. “I’ve been barely surviving.”

The tip-off has raised more than $55,000, according to a tally by WLWT in Cincinnati.

College basketball fans began showing their school pride by leaving messages supporting one team or the other on receipts with big tips.

College basketball fans began showing their school pride by leaving messages supporting one team or the other on receipts with big tips.
(iStock)

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Filion shared the $2,800 with her co-workers, the Enquirer reported.

“Hopefully this keeps going,” she told the Enquirer. “Maybe we’ll make this the Jupiter, Florida tip challenge.”

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