CLEVELAND (CBS Cleveland) – A Cleveland waitress of about 20 years was expecting an income tax refund check for around $750. What she got was a little more than even she expected – by more than $430,000.

Ginny Hopkins, a longtime waitress who had planned to use her refund check to help fix her car, received a check for $434,712 on Tuesday. WKYC reports that Hopkins, who’s worked at Johnny’s Downtown for almost 20 years, could only smile as she saw the value of the check. The check was worth more than 576 times the amount she was expecting.

When deciding what to do with the check, Hopkins received advice from customers, some saying to cash it, others telling her to return it and avoid a prison sentence. “They’ll put me in Alcatraz,” she told WKYC, “waiting on the night shift at Alcatraz. They’ll reopen the place.”

Hopkins, however, understood what needed to be done. According to WKYC, she made appropriate arrangements to return the check to the IRS. But it was fun while it lasted.

“It made a great story, didn’t it,” Hopkins told WKYC. “We’ll get many miles and many years out of this story of Grandma being queen for a day, rich for a day.”


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