‘Secret Santa’ shopper pays off all layaway items at Walmart

An anonymous man got into the festive spirit early this year when he decided to pay off all the items that were on layaway at a Vermont Walmart.

Julie Gates popped into a Walmart in Derby last week to pick up a few items when she overheard a conversation in the checkout line.

“He came up to the man in front of me and said, ‘Either I am going to pay for it now or I am going to pay for it later,'” the woman recalled of the conversation in an interview with WCAX-TV.

Gates said the mystery man then turned to her and asked if she was paying for an item on layaway.

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“He said, ‘Why don’t you run and get what you want now and come back here?” the woman told the new station. “So I came back and he was standing there waiting. There was no one left.”

Gates told ABC News she was skeptical of the man and thought it was a prank. But it wasn’t.

“He was waiting for me to come back with my layaway, and he said, ‘You know, just go over to the cash register and I’ll come over and I’ll pay for it,'” Gates recalled of the conversation.

The man paid for her items and everything else that was in the store’s layaway room.

“How could anyone afford to do this?” Gates said she asked the man. “He said, ‘Santa Claus can.'”

READ MORE: Secret Santa pays off thousands of dollars in layaway accounts at Pennsylvania Walmart

According to WCAX-TV, the layaway room was filled to capacity with items that have now all been paid for thanks to the mystery man.

“It was kind of like surreal. When they said, ‘no balance due,’ then it was really a reality,” Tammy Desautels told the news station after finding out her items were paid for.

A Walmart spokesperson issued a statement, confirming the stranger’s act of kindness.

“When customers quietly pay off others’ layaway items, we’re reminded how good people can be. We’re honoured to be a small part of these random acts of kindness,” the company said, but declined to say how much the man spent in the store.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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