TipsForJesus, the mysterious person or people who are leaving enormous tips for servers as a form of flash philanthropy, has captivated the U.S. with an Instagram account full of eye-popping credit-card receipts. But despite the acclaim, no one has figured out exactly who TFJ is. A waiter in New York claimed that the mysterious tipper was PayPal millionaire Jack Selby, but our own crack team at Eater National debunked that rumor in an interview with TFJ, having seen the receipt the waiter offered as evidence, which wasn't Selby's—though that doesn't discount the possibility that he could still be the ringleader of what TFJ itself describes as a collective of 10 or so generous folks, not to mention a stream of copycats.
Now, SF Mag has an interview with the mystery man behind TFJ, who agreed to be interviewed only on condition of anonymity. Describing himself as having "been fortunate" in life, he's fond of cheap coffee and is apparently well-dressed, all of which is in line with a Roka Akor server's description of him as "a tall, dark-haired gentleman in his forties." Most of the rest of the interview is short on details, though TFJ does want to be an inspiration for giving, suggesting that "when justified by great service, magnanimous gratuities are achievable by everyone—no excuses." The aforementioned great service must have been in play at the Irish Bank, the most recent SF spot to get a TFJ visit, with a $2K tip on a $72 bill two weeks ago. According to the article, TFJ has now dropped nearly $130K total in tips, none of which is tax-deductible, incidentally.