Novotny was about to end her shift when the customer, who wished to remain anonymous, walked in for a haircut.
"I had 15 minutes left in my shift, and he walked up and asked if I could squeeze him in," Novotny told "Good Morning America." "I know how many people are desperate for a haircut right now so I didn't mind."
The man left the huge tip after getting a $27 haircut. Novotny had no idea about the customer’s cryptic parting remark until the shop’s other employees rushed to her area and told her.
"I didn't know what he was talking about until I went over to find the receipt," Novotny told "Good Morning America." "I was just in complete shock. This came at a crucial time for me. He didn't want to make a big show of it, but it's truly a blessing, and I have so much appreciation. I still can't believe it."
The client's generosity extended beyond Novotny. He handed $500 to the shop's receptionist and $1,000 to the general manager. Then, he asked how many other employees worked at the store and left all 18 of them $1,000 apiece, the Post reported.
Saturday’s tip allowed Novotny to pay her June rent in advance, the newspaper reported. The Aurora resident had worked out deals with her landlord and the utility company until she was able to draw a paycheck again.
"Coming back and having clients, even people you don't know, show so much love, it felt great," Novotny told the Post.