Down To Her Last $35, Wyoming Woman Pays It Forward When Receiving $200 Gift From Stranger

Buffalo's Maddie Delozier had recently moved to L.A. and wasvdown to her last $35. She had enough money to buy five gallons of gas but not enough for rent. A YouTuber ran up and gave her $200. Instead of keeping it, she immediately paid it forward and gave half to another stranger

Wendy Corr

January 22, 20234 min read

Buffalo girl in LA 3

Maddie Delozier was having a tough day. 

The 22-year-old from Buffalo had recently moved to Los Angeles. She was living in a house with a number of roommates, working part time at a barbecue restaurant and expanding her skills as a photographer. 

Although she was loving her new life on the West Coast, on this day in February 2022, Delozier was worried. 

Rent was coming due and she was about $120 short. She had enough money to put some gas in her car – $35 worth, which was only about 5 gallons – but she had no idea where the rest of the money was going to come from.

Then, she was caught by surprise by a YouTube camera crew, which chose her to receive a random act of kindness on that particular day.


Juan Gonzalez is a 29-year-old YouTuber, vlogger and prankster who debuted his YouTube channel in 2014 under the handle ThatWasEpic11.

His videos featuring giveaways, social experiments and pranks have gained him more than 7 million subscribers, and his videos typically generate millions of views each. Collectively, his videos have been viewed more than 1 billion times.

In a video released in early 2022, Gonzalez chose to surprise unsuspecting drivers at a gas station in Los Angeles by giving each of them $200 – enough to pay for their gas with a little left over.

One of those unsuspecting drivers was Delozier.

An Emotional Gesture

Nearly a year later, Delozier said she still gets emotional thinking about the impact such a simple gesture can make. 

“I just pulled up and got gas,” she told Cowboy State Daily. “I didn’t see anyone there, and then (Gonzalez) just started talking to me. 

“And then about halfway through our conversation, I can’t remember exactly when, but I did look over and see that there was a camera guy there.”

Gonzalez asked Delozier if she’d been able to fill her tank.

She told him, with a wry smile, that she had put just $35 worth of gas in the car.

When Gonzalez handed her $200, her shock and amazement were evident. 

She also was overcome by emotion. Gonzalez couldn’t have known of Delozier’s financial crunch or that $200 was just about enough to cover her shortfall.

“I started crying, because that morning I only had like $35, and I was going through, like, I don’t know I’m going to be able to pay my rent on time,” she said.

Delozier continued to clean her windshield, with the $200 in her hand, still obviously emotional.

“Then the gentleman right next to me that was getting gas, he looked over and he was like, ‘Oh, wow, it’s your lucky day, isn’t it?’” said Delozier. “And so I couldn’t NOT do anything, so I just walked over and gave him half of it.”

Paying It Forward

Delozier recalled that when she was young, a stranger helped her family when it was stranded on the interstate between Wheatland and Casper. 

Then later in middle school, one of her teachers showed the movie “Pay It Forward,” a story about a young man who decided to make the world a better place.

“We learned about that in class and, I don’t know, I just feel like it’s kind of stuck with me,” said Delozier. “I feel like everyone should be able to pay it forward when they can.”

Delozier made an on-the-spot decision to give the stranger $100, despite that she was in a financial bind herself.

Gonzalez saw Delozier’s gesture and quickly reappeared, handing each of them another $100.

“There, now you both have $200,” he told them.

The video has since been viewed more than 3 million times.

California Dreaming

Delozier is loving her new life in California since moving there in 2020. Although she was born and raised in Johnson County, she enjoys the creative opportunities available to her in Los Angeles.

And Delozier said that she has met several people in California who would have made the same decision she did at the gas station – to share an unexpected windfall with a stranger.

“I think I’ve been very fortunate since I’m moving out here,” she said, “and I can say that I’ve met a good handful of people that would do the same.”

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Wendy Corr

Features Reporter