Grandma’s accidental Thanksgiving invite makes for memorable meal

After an Arizona grandmother accidentally invited a stranger to her Thanksgiving dinner and became an internet sensation, the two ended up eating together after all.


PHOENIX — It was a holiday story the Internet was quick to gobble up: A grandmother’s accidental text to a Phoenix teen that led to a stranger’s invitation to Thanksgiving dinner.

Wanda Dench of Mesa had meant to send the Nov. 15 group message to a few family members, inviting them over for dinner.

The text, meant for a grandson, was instead sent to Jamal Hinton, a 17-year-old from Phoenix.

Hinton posted the screenshots of the conversation to Twitter, which was shared by his best friend and subsequently shared nearly 200,000 times.

It seemed everyone was curious if the unlikely duo would spend the holiday together.

“Well, it’s happening,” Wanda said to The Arizona Republic Thursday afternoon. “He’s showing up today with a pumpkin pie.”

Wanda and her family had been prepping all morning for the anticipation of their new guest. Waking up near dawn, Wanda put two turkeys back-to-back in her small oven so that there would be enough food to feed everyone.

“The sad part is, I don’t even cook,” she said, laughing. “I’m sure he’ll wonder what he’s gotten himself into by accepting my invitation.”

“You don’t do … horrible,” teased her grandson, Randall Burgoyne.

The text that started all this had originally been intended for the 21-year-old Burgoyne, but he changed his number last May and had forgotten to mention it to his grandmother. Burgoyne found out about the mistaken identity exchange when he saw that he had…