It can be pretty stressful when a stranger asks you for directions. Suddenly this person you don’t know is putting their future in your hands by requesting you immediately and accurately reference the map in your brain.

But before you tell the next lost person who approaches you that you’re “actually not from around here,” consider this: The stranger with a poor sense of direction could be a generous billionaire.

Just ask Jennifer Vasilakos, who was in a Santa Barbara parking lot when she gave a lost motorist directions. When the man noticed that Vasilakos was raising money in the lot, he asked her what for. And when she explained that she needed it for a stem cell treatment that may be able to help her failed kidneys, he handed her fifty bucks and promised to come back with more.

Well that man turned out to be Ty Warner, billionaire beanie baby entrepreneur. And, yes, not long afterwards Vasilakos received a check for $20,000 from Warner.

Thanks to the generous tip, Vasilakos was able to get the experimental surgery — which isn’t offered in the United States — last week. She will disclose more details about the procedure on her blog when she returns home.

One suspects that she must have given Warner some pretty good directions.

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