Yellow Checker Star said Gerardo Gamboa has been dubbed Cabbie of the Year, an honor that comes with a $1,000 prize and dinner at an exclusive restaurant, the Las Vegas Sun reported Wednesday.
Gamboa said a doorman at the Bellagio found a paper bag in the back of his cab after he dropped off a gambler at Palms Place and the men assumed it was chocolate left behind by the passenger. However, he opened the bag while driving his next passenger and discovered $100 bills in six bundles of $50,000 each, totaling $300,000.
"I told my passenger, 'You are my witness on this,' and then I immediately called my dispatcher," Gamboa said.
The cab company was able to track down the passenger using records from the Cosmopolitan, where the previous passenger had been picked up.
The passenger came to the taxi company office, but it took a few hours for the money to trade hands because the man did not have any ID.
"He was really polite about it and waited patiently," Bill Shranko, a YCS manager, said of the money's owner. "He said he'd do whatever was necessary."
The man asked to see Gamboa before he left and promised there would be a reward.
"If he doesn't give me anything, that's OK," Gamboa said. "I'm not waiting for any kind of return. I just wanted to do the right thing, and I appreciate what the company did for me."