An 89-year-old pizza delivery driver in Utah has been left stunned after going ‘TikTok famous’ led to a surprise US$12,000 tip.
Derlin Newey works over 30 hours a week as a delivery man for US pizza chain Papa Johns as his pension doesn’t cover the bills of his mobile home.
Newey recently won the hearts of thousands when TikTok user Carlos Valdez shared a security camera video of him delivering pizzas with his signature line: “Hello! Are you looking for some pizza?”
“What is this guy doing delivering pizzas? True hustler,” Valdez captioned the video, which racked up over 60,000 likes on the social media app.
Valdez told local news station KSL the fan response to Newey was “insane”.
“Everybody loves him,” he said. “[But] somebody at that age should not be working that much.”
When several followers suggested a ‘Venmo challenge’ to raise money for Newey, Valdez happily accepted.
“Collectively as a TikTok community, we all came together, and we were able to raise US$12,000 (NZ$18,290) for this amazing person,” he said.
The Valdez’s made a surprise special delivery to Newey at his door, with the cash in an envelope, and even a T-shirt with his signature pizza delivery greeting on it.
Cameras caught the emotional moment Newey opened the cash and was left speechless by the gesture.
“How do I ever say thank you?” he asked tearfully. “I don’t know what to say.”
Valdez told KSL “it couldn’t have gone any better”, with commenters on TikTok asking how they could continue to support Newey.
“Absolutely amazing. We should do something for him for Christmas,” wrote one person.
“Please keep it open so we can content to donate and you can deliver the money weekly if need be,” wrote another.