For the fourth year in a row since grandma Wanda Dench, from Arizona, mixed up phone numbers and accidentally texted a stranger, Jamal Hinton, a Thanksgiving dinner invitation, the unlikely friends will spend the holiday together. This year, the now 20-year-old and his girlfriend plan to host the celebration.
“Since we’re having them at my girlfriend’s Thanksgiving, I’m excited for them to meet everybody for the first time,” Hinton of Phoenix told InsideEdition.com.
Their unexpected friendship began in 2016, when Dench thought she was texting her 24-year-old grandson to invite him to her annual Thanksgiving dinner.
Hinton, then 17, didn’t recognize the number and asked the sender to send a selfie. When a photo of a blonde woman came up, the African-American teen realized she had sent the invite to the wrong number
“You not my grandma,” he texted her back. “Can I still get a plate [though]?”
To his surprise, she responded, “Of course you can. That’s what grandma’s do …feed [everyone].”
The pair have been close friends ever since, with Hinton attending Dench and her family’s Thanksgiving celebrations every year.
“Wanda has always been extremely [kind] to me and my girlfriend and we’ve become really good friends especially over this last year,” he said. “Whenever we [hang out] we have a great time catching up and we end up talking for hours about our lives, experiences and how our story has affected so many people which I think has kept us so close.”
And while spending time with his new friend is important, Hinton said the highlight is always her food.
“She’s a great cook,” he said.