Hampton family wins big on The Ellen Show

Posted at 5:08 PM, Jan 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-24 05:36:59-05

Sometimes when people do the right thing, somebody is looking.

That was case when Ellen learned that a Hampton couple, who have very little of their own, gives a lot of their time and energy to at-risk youth and adults.

Ellen DeGeneres decided it was time for them to be on the receiving end.


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Last month, she surprised them by giving them $30,000 in gift cards and merchandise.

In fact, it was every one of the prizes she shared during her 12 days of Christmas Giveaway.

But that was just part one of the story.

Dominique and Jonathan Pierce thought it couldn't get any better than the day in December when a boatload of prizes arrived from Ellen that really helped them at a time when they really needed it.

Dominique and Jonathan hopped on a U.S. Airways jet headed to Hollywood to meet Ellen in person!

NewsChannel 3’s Barbara Ciara was there for all of the excitement.

They drank in the sights and there's quite a bit to see on Hollywood Blvd.

But the real celebrity they were interested in seeing has a star on Hollywood and Vine, and gave them an invitation to sit next to her and share their story on a national stage.

They prepared as best they could.

“Did a little praying just to calm my nerves and just went out there,” said Jonathan Pierce.

They left quite an impression. Ellen learned that the Pierce family shared their prizes.

Just like they always do, the Pierce family was thinking only of the at-risk kids and adults they work with every day. Even with four children at home, they could use the help but sharing seems to give them as much joy as receiving.

"How dare we not. That’s what I was thinking. We've been blessed with so much. They chose us to give all these wonderful gifts to, how dare we not pay it forward. That's how I see it,” said Dominique Pierce.

And in true Ellen fashion, she gave the Pierces another opportunity to win, but this time they had to share Ellen’s love of games.

Dominique, who is a real Ellen fan, thought she was ready to take on Twister Hoopla!

Down goes Dominique, over and over again along with her pants!

“You have to come out to LA and have a wardrobe malfunction to make sure you feel like you've been to LA. I feel like a star now,” said  Dominique.

Jonathan, who is a personal trainer, had much better luck.

Ellen rewarded their sense of humor with a big 10,000 prize!

So for the Hampton couple who experienced both the Hollyweird and Hollywood during their brief visit, they also learned why they call LA the city of angels.

“Ellen is the bomb, dot com. I'm so happy and stunned it's happened to us,” said Dominique.

"This experience was amazing,” said Jonathan.