The largest Christmas tip on record was given by James Gordon Bennett, Jr., the bon vivant millionaire publisher of his father’s New York Herald. He had frequently breakfasted amidst the silver and crystal of the old Delmonico’s. After his Christmas morning breakfast in 1876, he gave a small roll of bills to the waiter who always served him .
As soon as the waiter had the opportunity, he looked at the roll, and when he recovered his equilibrium he took it to Mr. Delmonico. There were six $1,000 bills. The proprietor put them in the safe, sensing that a mistake had been made.
When the publisher next visited the restaurant, Delmonico told him the waiter had turned the money in. He added that he would return it when Bennet departed.
“Why return it?” asked the millionaire publisher. “Didn’t I give it to him?”
“Yes, but of course it was a mistake. You gave him $6,000.”
“Mr. Delmonico,” replied Bennett, rising to his considerable height, “you should know that James Gordon Bennett never makes a mistake.”
Source: The Joys of Christmas Past by Philip Snyder