HomeInspireGood News

Good News: A wrong number text brings strangers together for Thanksgiving

BY Alice Gawthrop

1st Dec 2022 Good News

Good News: A wrong number text brings strangers together for Thanksgiving

A simple wrong number text has resulted in a years-long friendship, a new business and an upcoming Netflix adaptation

We’ve all had a wrong number text before, but how often do they lead to years-long friendships? For Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench, a mistaken text has resulted in seven years of shared Thanksgiving dinners!

How it started

In 2016, the then-17-year-old Jamal Hinton received a text, supposedly from his grandma, asking if he’d make it to Thanksgiving that year. After exchanging a few texts, it soon became clear that the text’s sender, Wanda Dench, was not in fact his grandma.

She invited Hinton to dinner regardless, and after Hinton shared the exchange on Twitter, the pair went viral. 

How it’s going now

Spending Thanksgiving together has become an annual thing for Hinton and Dench, with this year marking the tradition’s seventh anniversary. Their friendship has gone from strength to strength, even through events like the Covid-19 pandemic and the passing of Dench’s husband, Lonnie.


A post shared by King Jamal (@jamalhinton12)

Dench has said, “Jamal taught me that age made absolutely no difference…when Jamal came along, my husband and I and him and his girlfriend, we would go out to dinner throughout the year together and we would just lose all track of time. One time, we were at a restaurant for three or four hours and I couldn’t believe we were there that long. We kept talking! It was just such a wonderful conversation.”

The pair have even gone into business together, launching a water company called blackmp, and Netflix is reportedly developing a movie of the story.

Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter

This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you. Read our disclaimer

Loading up next...