Secret Santa stuns New Yorkers
An anonymous businessman has been handing out cash on the streets of New York.
The man, wearing a red Santa hat, gave $100 notes to dozens of people at random over three days.
He handed out a total of $25,000 before flying home to Kansas City, Missouri. He says he has done the same every Christmas for 22 years.
Macy's security guard James Frazier told the Daily News: "I was standing on 34th Street doing my job and a big guy came up to me and said, 'Hi,' I said 'Hi,' and he gave me a $100 bill."
"He was a big guy with a beard," added the 19-year-old, who plans to spend the money on clothes for his newborn son. "I said, 'Are you Santa Claus?' As far as I'm concerned, he is."
Some recipients were sceptical. "Is this real?" one woman asked. The man also gave money to fire stations, churches and charities.
Protected by plainclothes security, Secret Santa also dropped $100 into the bucket of dumbfounded Salvation Army worker Michael Johnson.
"I couldn't believe it and I was barely able to say thank you," Johnson, 50, said. "And he said, 'Merry Christmas,' and kept going."
In interviews with USA Today and The Kansas City Star, the anonymous businessman said he was once destitute when the owner of a Mississippi diner handed him a $20 note and said, "Son, you must have dropped this."
"That fella just knew I was in trouble and helped me in a way that didn't embarrass me," the Secret Santa said.