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Wanda Dench and Jamal Hinton ring in year seven of Thanksgiving tradition thanks to a wrong text

The two gained viral fame in 2016 when Wanda thought she sent a text to her grandson about Thanksgiving dinner but accidentally sent it to Jamal's number
Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench in 2019 (@jamalhinton12/Instagram)
Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench in 2019 (@jamalhinton12/Instagram)

MESA, ARIZONA: Wanda Dench and Jamal Hinton continue their Thanksgiving tradition for the seventh year in a row. The duo gained worldwide popularity thanks to a Thanksgiving dinner invitation for Dench's grandson that was mistakenly sent to Hinton in 2016.

Unaware that her grandson had changed his phone number, the message was received by an Arizona teenager living a couple of towns away. Hinton, the then 17-year-old teenager responded “You not my grandma. Can I still get a plate though?” to which Dench replied “Of course you can. That’s what grandmas do … feed everyone.”


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Arizona's Family reports that Dench jokingly recollects their first Thanksgiving dinner “I do know the first Thanksgiving he didn’t bring anything over,” and Hinton laughingly replies “Wow! Throwing people under the bus, golly!” 

For this year's Thanksgiving, baking pumpkin pie is the new activity they have added. Ever since Hinton showed up for the holiday dinner seven years back, their lives have changed so much. “We even had an adventure. We went to Atlanta, Georgia, at the beginning of the year and had a blast there. We were on a game show!”, Dench tells Arizona Family.

She also shares that they will be celebrating this Thanksgiving day at Hinton's girlfriend Mikaela's place where Lonnie, Dench's late husband celebrated his last Thanksgiving dinner with them. Lonnie died in 2020 from COVID.

Hinton took it to Twitter to announce their 7th Thanksgiving tradition on November 24 saying "To answer all your questions, yes Thanksgiving year 7 is planned out! See you guys Thursday!"


What started as a beautiful tradition from a viral mishap, has now led the friends to continue to celebrate the holiday like a family. Witnessing Hinton growing from a kid to an adult and now as a basketball coach, their friendship grew stronger. Every year, Hinton posts his photos of the dinner tradition captioned 'Second Family'.

Of all the exciting times they share, Netflix has decided to make a movie based on their viral mishap turning into a heartwarming friendship that Hinton officially announced on Twitter on December 3, 2021. The movie titled 'The Thanksgiving Text' is under pre-production.

The friends have already planned out their next Thanksgiving. With the biggest change, they have decided to host their 8th Thanksgiving dinner at Dench's new house up in Prescot.