A poker player who left $300,000 in the back seat of a Las Vegas taxi made good on his promise this week, handing over a $10,000 reward to the honest cabbie who returned the stash.
Yellow Checker Star Cab Company CEO Bill Shranko confirmed Friday that Gerardo Gamboa had been paid by the poker player. The cab company also honored the driver's good deed by naming him employee of the year, awarding him $1,000 and giving him a gift certificate to a Las Vegas steakhouse.
It's unclear how Gamboa plans to spend the belated Christmas gift. He did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press on Friday.
The tale, first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, started Monday when Gamboa made a pickup at the Bellagio casino. A hotel doorman noticed a brown paper bag on the back seat and handed it to him; Gamboa thought it was candy.
The driver said he had another passenger by the time he began wondering what kind of chocolates were in the brown paper bag. He peeked inside at a traffic light and spotted the cash."I told my passenger, 'You are my witness on this,'" the 13-year taxi driver told the Las Vegas Sun, "and then I immediately called my dispatcher."Gamboa took the six bundles of $100 bills to the company's main office, where Las Vegas police and casino officials linked it to the poker player.
It took several hours to verify the identity of the owner and return the cash. Authorities aren't identifying the poker player.
Before he learned about the anonymous gambler's gift, Gamboa said he wasn't in it for the money."If he doesn't give me anything, that's OK," Gamboa told the Sun earlier this week. "I'm not waiting for any kind of return. I just wanted to do the right thing, and I appreciate what the company did for me."
Copyright The Associated Press
One Las Vegas cabbie showed not everyone in Sin City is looking to sin. Just in time for the holidays Gerardo Gamboa is a true example of honesty.
"A Checker Cab driver found $300,000 in the back of his cab. Well, this driver was making a pick up Monday ... when a door man noticed the bag and handed it to him. When the cabbie open it he found six bundles of $100 bills." (Via KLAS)
Gamboa then showed his passenger to have an eye witness that he didn't take any money. He then called his dispatcher and took the money to the main office. (Via NBC)
REPORTER: "Why would you turn it in?"
"Because its not belong to me... And I just want to do the right thing."
The cab company called the police to help track down the rightful owner. They did eventually identify a prominent poker player as the source but have yet to release the name. (Via Las Vegas Review-Journal)
No word on if Gamboa will get a bonus for his good deed, but he told reporters he's going back to work.