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Woman Pays for Stranger’s Order at McDonald's. Then 166 People Did the Same.

Last Sunday, a McDonald’s in Indiana proved that kindness really is contagious.

Around 8:30 p.m. on Father’s Day, a woman in the Scottsburg-located drive-thru set off a chain reaction when she paid for the order of the father and four kids in the car behind her.

Hunter Hostetler, 19, was working the drive-thru when the woman, who he believed to be in her early sixties, paid for the family's order which cost six times more than her own.

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“She paid it in full and told me to tell the dad Happy Father’s Day,” Hostetler recalled.

When Hostetler notified the man that she had paid for his order in full, the father offered to cover the meals of the next two cars behind him.

“It just snowballed from there up until we closed,” Hostetler told ABC News. By the time the drive-thru closed nearly four hours later, 167 cars joined in on the “pay it forward chain.”

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Abby Smith 22, and her boyfriend found themselves as car number 161 in the chain after deciding to get late-night McDonald’s around 11:30 p.m.

“I was just shocked because of the large number,” Smith said. “I didn’t even think about it I just said, ‘Go ahead, take what the previous person put down. Go ahead and take that from us too.’”

Hostetler remarked that like Smith, some customers were unconcerned with the fact that the meals they offered to cover cost much more than their own orders.

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But even when patrons could not afford to cover the next car’s order, Hostetler and his coworker Jessica Well donated money out of their own pockets to help keep the giving chain alive.

“There’s so much negativity in the world,” Hostetler said. “Something like this just doesn’t happen every day.”

In a statement to ABC News, Frank Ward, the owner of the Scottsburg McDonald’s said that the chain is a sign that everyone involved "believes in supporting the local communities in which we operate."

"I was proud to experience the Scottsburg community come together in this act of kindness under the Golden Arches," he said.