(ST. CHARLES, Illinois) — An IHOP waitress started off the new year with an epic surprise from New Kids on the Block member Donnie Wahlberg.  Instead of tipping his waitress the normal 20 percent on his $78 check, the Blue Bloods actor gave her a whopping $2,020.

This gesture is part of a new viral challenge — called The 2020 Tip Challenge — which asks people to pay it forward to their waiters or waitresses. 

Wahlberg’s wife, Jenny McCarthy, tweeted about their unexpected but generous gift on Wednesday. “@DonnieWahlberg starting 2020 off like the amazing man he is,” she shared happily alongside a photo of their $2,098.45 check.

The photo also reveals that he left their waitress, Bethany, a sweet encouraging note that not only thanked her for her service but also wished her a happy New Year.

This isn’t the first time the Wahlburgers owner surprised a server with a sizable tip, as he explained in July 2017 on Instagram that “My mom waited tables, and my dad tended bars– for years!”   

At that time, Wahlberg dined at a Waffle House and left the servers there a $2,000 tip on his $82 check, saying that when “the staff treats me like a king, you better believe I treat them like queens!”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.