Airbnb Offering Seat At Table With Viral Thanksgiving Family

By Jason Hall

November 1, 2023

Photo: @jamalhinton12/Instagram

Airbnb is offering the chance to be part of internet's favorite Thanksgiving tradition.

Jamal Hinton will be spending Thanksgiving with Wanda Dench at her Prescott, Arizona, home for the eighth consecutive year after a chance text message setup their viral encounter in 2016 and Dench is inviting new friends to join them through the popular rental service.

“I said from the jump of our first Thanksgiving that I always wanted to have more people join our Thanksgiving and be able to celebrate with us and have the amount of fun that we have together,” Hinton said via USA TODAY.

The Airbnb post says two guests will be able to book a private room at Dench's home for a one-night stay on November 20 priced at $16, a nod to the year in which the first encounter took place. Guests will be offered a seat at the Thanksgiving table, as well as board games, movies, cider or hot cocoa and the chance to appear in Hinton and Dench's annual selfie.

The initial encounter between Hinton and Dench went viral eight years ago when Dench attempted to make plans with her own grandchildren and mistakenly texted Hinton, who she had never previously met at the time.

Dench, thinking she was texting her grandchild, identified herself as "your grandma" and sent a photo of herself, to which Hinton responded with a photo of himself before asking "Can I still get a plate tho?"

"Of course you can. That's what grandma's do...feed everyone."

Hinton and his girlfriend, Mikaela, obliged and were welcomed with open arms by Dench and her husband, Lonnie, at their Arizona home as photos from the Thanksgiving meetup and screenshots of their interactions were shared thousands of times on social media.

In 2020, Dench hosted Hinton for the first time since her husband had died of COVID-19 complications several months prior.

"As some of you may have already found out tonight Lonnie did not make it," Hinton tweeted in April of 2020. "Wanda told me all the love and support he was receiving put a huge smile on his face, so I thank every single one of you guys for that!"

Hinton shared a photo of himself, Dench and Mikaela alongside a framed picture of Lonnie, as well as a photo from their initial encounter, to mark their fifth annual Thanksgiving and first since Lonnie's passing.

"5 years strong! Happy Thanksgiving everyone❤️❤️❤️," he wrote at the time.

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