When shoe shop assistant Sarah Ryan was handed a $1 million tip, it seemed the Waterford woman’s life had just mirrored a Hollywood blockbuster.

But while feelgood films like It Could Happen To You end on a high note, Sarah’s Hollywood script was always going to have an unhappy ending.

Especially when there is no such thing as a $1 million note.

Still, Sarah felt a bit like actress Bridget Fonda for a while, whose cafe waitress character received a mammoth tip from a cop played by Nicholas Cage.

Sarah, a 20-year-old trainee teacher, was given a $1m note as a tip from a very grateful US visitor on Monday evening. Yesterday she was desperately trying to find out if the note was a fake or not.

But even the prospect of the note being real and an opportunity to escape the July rain had her dreaming of what might be.

“It’d take me a lifetime as a teacher to earn that kind of money. I’m in third year at Mary Immaculate in Limerick. I probably wouldn’t go back.

“If the note is real, and I seriously doubt it is, both I and my twin sister Gemma will be on the first plane to the Bahamas,” the assistant at Clarks’ Shoe Store in Waterford city centre said.

“I’d also buy a BMW convertible – a black one. And I’d give a chunk of the money to my mum, Mary. My dad, John, would also have to get his share,” she added.

The customer walked into the Barronstrand Street store yesterday with his wife. The man, in his late 50s, asked to see some sandals in a size eight.

“He eventually bought a pair in size seven. He didn’t chat too much. He paid for them at the counter, they cost €50, and went away. He returned a few minutes later with a note. He just put it in my hand.

“I told him that we were not allowed to take tips but he insisted. I thought it was a $1 note and I put it in my pocket. I later found out it was a $1m note. I still didn’t think it was real.

“It wasn’t until my Dad started making calls about it this morning that I began to get a bit excited.” But Sarah’s suspicions were confirmed yesterday when bank officials confirmed there is no such thing as a $1m note.

I feel compelled to ask, how stupid is it possible to be? Maybe the middle-aged American got his million dollar note from Monty Burns?!?