2 furloughed Md. sisters get $20K from Ellen DeGeneres for 1 cheesecake

WASHINGTON — Two furloughed sisters from Maryland turned the longest government shutdown into an opportunity to make some money while they weren’t getting paid. And they got a boost from a daytime host who just loves cheesecakes.

Ellen DeGeneres surprised Prince George’s County’s Jaqi Wright and Nikki Howard with $20,000 from Cheerios for an order of one cheesecake.

The sisters, who work for the Department of Justice and the Food and Drug Administration, have been furloughed since Dec. 22.

“It’s been horrible,” Howard said. “Bills are due.”

The cheesecake idea came about on New Year’s Day, when Howard sent Wright home with some cheesecake.

Wright took a bite and said, “I forgot about the furlough. I forgot about bills. I forgot about everything. I got lost on how good it is.”

Her mother said the cheesecake was so good, they could sell it. And, since both sisters were furloughed, hence the name: The Furlough Cheesecake.

Wright’s goal is to make between 75 to 100 cheesecakes a day, and after their appearance on The Ellen Show, DeGeneres said orders were bound to skyrocket.

DeGeneres asked the sisters to send her one cheesecake in exchange.

A cheesecake retails for $29.98, and it can be purchased at The Furlough Cheesecake.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She has a master’s degree in interactive journalism from American University and a master’s degree in English Literature from The George Washington University.

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