Saints, Pelicans owner Gayle Benson pays off hundreds of Christmas layaway bills

Shoppers at a New Orleans Walmart are walking into a Christmas surprise when they arrive to pay their layaway bills.

For 408 customers making payments on Christmas gifts, their balance sheet now reads zero.

Gayle Benson played the role of Santa Claus for hundreds of New Orleans Christmas shoppers. (Getty)

New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson has paid off the remaining balances on orders at the Walmart totaling almost $100,000. The New Orleans Advocate originally reported the news that the team later confirmed to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

“They’re coming in, and they’re calling their friends and family,” store representative Zena Williams told the Advocate. “They’re very excited. It’s a good thing. It’s a good thing for the community. It’s a good thing for the store. I’m glad that we can participate and help bless so many people for the holidays.”

Benson took over as the principal owner of the Saints and Pelicans after her husband and previous owner Tom Benson died in March.

More from Yahoo Sports:
Forde: Urban Meyer has one complicated, drama-filled legacy
Why a Knicks star called the NBA ‘scared little rats’
Where Urban Meyer’s accomplishments rank in CFB history
NFL Power Rankings: Don’t sleep on the Chargers