'Wrong Number' Crew to Celebrate 8th Thanksgiving Together

Wanda Dench, Jamal Hinton partner with Airbnb to add 2 more guests
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2023 1:30 AM CST
'Wrong Number' Crew to Celebrate 8th Thanksgiving Together
File - Jamal Hinton, left, and Wanda Dench take a selfie together after meeting at Dench's home for Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 24, 2016, in Mesa, Ariz.   (Tom Tingle/The Arizona Republic via AP, File)

The Arizona grandma who invited the wrong teen to Thanksgiving dinner in 2016, leading to years of awwww-inducing holiday get-togethers, are celebrating together again this year. And in honor of the tradition's eighth year, they're adding new strangers into the mix, NBC News reports. Wanda Dench, whose husband died of COVID in 2020, and Jamal Hinton, who was 17 when Dench first texted him and is now 24, partnered with Airbnb to list a one-night stay at Dench's home—on Thanksgiving night, of course—for $16, the amount chosen to commemorate the year Dench first texted Hinton (a story that Netflix is planning to eventually turn into a movie).

Interested parties were able to register on Airbnb this week for the chance to join Dench and Hinton; the booking window is now closed. Two guests will be chosen, USA Today reports. On the menu: turkey, mashed potatoes, and of course, dessert. "I used to make good pumpkin pie, but Costco can do it better than me, so we're having my favorite Costco pumpkin pie," says Dench, 66. The new guests will of course participate in Dench and Hinton's annual selfie, and other traditions include drinking hot cocoa or cider while watching movies and playing board games. Airbnb is also donating to the hunger relief organization Feeding America in honor of the updated tradition. (More uplifting news stories.)

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