An anonymous customer recently spent more than $93,000 to pay off roughly 400 layaway items at a New Orleans Walmart.
And on Tuesday, that customer was revealed to be New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson.
The Saints confirmed to multiple news outlets Tuesday night that Benson, the widow of longtime previous owner Tom Benson, paid off the layaway items for unsuspecting customers at Walmart's store on Tchoupitoulas Street ahead of the holiday season. WWL-TV in New Orleans reported that the payments totaled $93,502.
"This was a gift from Mrs. Benson for the holidays," the Saints told the television station in a statement.
Zena Williams, the store's manager, told The Advocate that Benson's payment was a blessing for customers, some of whom were floored by the gesture.
"They're coming in, and they're calling their friends and family," Williams told The Advocate. "They're very excited. It's a good thing. It's a good thing for the community. It's a good thing for the store."
Benson, 71, became the sole owner of the Saints and Pelicans franchises after her husband died in March. Tom Benson, who purchased the Saints in 1985 and went on to own the team for more than three decades, was 90 years old.
Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.
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