What started as a kind gesture for a dad and his four kids on Father’s Day lasted the rest of the day at a Scottsburg, Indiana, McDonald’s.
Although Patient Zero is still unknown at this time, a woman in the drive-thru of the fast-food chain brought on a pay-it-forward chain of 167 cars that lasted until closing time, according to Good Morning America.
The 19-year-old window cashier, Hunter Hostetler, kept tally of the cars for four hours and later spoke to the morning news program.
“It was very heartwarming,” Hostetler said. “The last customer who came through even asked if there was another car and I said, ‘Ma’am I’m sorry you’re our last customer for the night. We’re closing.’”
Ever since the 2000 movie Pay It Forward made the concept well known, instances of customers helping out strangers have sprung up across the country. But this isn’t even the longest chain of charity. In 2015, 250 cars in a Florida McDonald’s drive-thru paid it forward from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., and the same year 215 customers kept a chain going at a Georgia Chick-fil-A.
Perhaps the kind people of Scottsburg — a town of 6,747 that sits just off I-64 between Indianapolis and Louisville — could have kept the chain going longer if only if it weren’t for those pesky closing times.