Grandma Accidentally Invited Stranger To Thanksgiving In 2016 – They’ve Spent It Together Every Year Since

Jamal Hinton / Twitter

In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving in 2016, 59-year-old grandma Wanda Dench texted her 24-year-old grandson with the official invitation.

Thanksgiving dinner is at my house on Nov. 24 at 3:00pm. Let me know if you’re coming. Hope to see you all,” she wrote.

Wanda’s grandson never ended up getting the text. That’s because it went to a number belonging to then-17-year-old Jamal Hinton.

He asked who was texting and Wanda responded, “Your grandma,” so Jamal asked for proof with a photo and he quickly found out a stranger texted him by mistake! He let her know right away – picture included – that he was not who she meant to text.

Jamal then asked if he could still come over for Thanksgiving, and Wanda said, “Of course you can. That’s what grandma’s do. Feed every one.

See their 2016 text exchange below.

Their interaction went viral and people online were wondering if Jamal actually took Wanda up on her offer. Well, it turns out he did! And since then, they’ve made it a tradition. Jamal and his girlfriend Mikaela have gone to Wanda’s house every year for Thanksgiving dinner.

In fact, they don’t only see each other on Thanksgiving. Jamal told The New York Post that the two get together “about once every two months,” even though they live a few towns apart. Jamal lives in Phoenix and Wanda lives in Mesa.

“We’ve become really good friends,” he told The Post. “Unfortunately, our schedules don’t usually line up too well and we live an hour and a half apart, but we have managed to have a couple dinners at her house and restaurants.”

In October 2019 Jamal and Mikaela went to a pumpkin patch with Wanda and her husband Lonnie.

At 2018’s feast, Jamal and Mikaela made a Q & A video with Wanda because so many people online had questions for her! You can tell right when they walk in that Wanda and Lonnie love spending time with them. Lonnie sees them and says, “Hey! My brother!”

Sadly, Lonnie passed away in April 2020 from COVID-19, so this year’s holiday looked very different. Wanda and Jamal got together the week before Thanksgiving to celebrate so they’d be healthy enough to see their own family members on the actual holiday.

Check out some of their photos throughout the years.




In Dec. 2021, Jamal announced they partnered with Netflix to tell their story. No word on casting or a release date.

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, the public was all waiting to see if Jamal and Wanda were planning to spend the day together, and the answer is – yes!

Can’t wait to see pictures from the big day!