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Arizona’s Thanksgiving tradition still continues when a man reunites with a woman who texted him in error

Thanksgiving is a time when family and friends gather, and each year in Arizona, a certain story has captured the hearts of millions.

For those involved in the so-called “Thanksgiving mix-up,” they call it a blessing.

Continue reading: Wrong text leads to unexpected Thanksgiving dinner

A mix-up that went viral

It all started in 2016 when Jamal Hinton, then 17, accidentally received a text message from a woman.

“I was in class and got a random group chat text, so I texted back and found a new grandma,” Hinton said in 2016.

The text began by stating when Thanksgiving dinner would be, and when Hinton and the woman exchanged selfies, they knew it was a mix-up. Rather than uninvite Hinton, the woman, identified as Wanda Dench, still extended the invitation.

“I was like, ‘Wow, she’s really nice, I should really go,'” Hinton said at the time. “She seems really cute. Just a nice lady I guess.”

“My husband and I are friendly people. We just put our arms around him and told him to come in. It never occurred to me – he later told me that he was nervous about coming over to my house and I was like, ‘What’s this about? feel nervous?’ but he didn’t know me either. He didn’t know if we were some crazy white people, he said,” Dench said, recounting her first encounter with Hinton.

The tradition remains strong

Thanksgiving 2022 marks the seventh time Dench and Hinton have reunited with their families. Over the years, the Denches and the Hintons have kept the tradition alive, and on November 23, 2022, they made pumpkin pie before the annual festival.

While tradition remains strong, not everyone is here to celebrate Thanksgiving now. In April 2020, we reported that Dench’s husband, Lonne died fighting COVID-19.

Dench may have lost her husband, but a tradition born of a lyric mix-up still endures. Dench said she knew her husband was glad they kept the tradition alive.

“My husband is very, very proud. He loved it [Hinton] and his girlfriend Mikayla, which I do too,” Dench said. “He just knew that [Hinton] was special. An angel on earth.

The holiday mix-up could soon be filmed. In 2021, we covered the story of Dench and Hinton caught the attention of producers at Netflix. There’s no word on when the film might be released on the streaming platform, and both Dench and Hinton haven’t been able to say much about the project.

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