LAS VEGAS (AP) — 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.
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.”