Campus News

The Ellen Degeneres Show visits UW roommates

UW-Madison roommates (from left) Sara Endres, Maddie Kreis, Maddie Hottinger, Makaia Frober, Becca Strigenz and Maddie Weston sit with Jeannie Klisiewicz of The Ellen Degeneres show during her surprise visit to bring gifts the students won.

Image By: Courtesy of Becca Strigenz

The Ellen Degeneres Show recently brought six unexpecting UW-Madison roommates an early Christmas gift―a cardboard cutout of Ellen Degeneres.

Crew members of the national television talk show knocked on the students’ apartment door. They recorded the reaction of the girls live and featured it in the beginning of host Ellen Degeneres’ evening broadcast.

The roommates―Becca Strigenz, Maddy Hottinger, Maddie Weston, Sara Endres, Makaia Frober and Maddie Kreis―wrote a letter to the show in early November. They had not received any response until Jeannie Klisiewicz, a staff member for the show, appeared at their home.

“We were all in shock and then we just freaked out,” Strigenz said. “We were just so surprised we literally had no idea they were coming.”

The students wrote in the letter that they enjoy The Ellen Degeneres Show and watch it together daily. They requested the life-sized cardboard cutout to add to their apartment decorations. They did get one of these from the visiting crew, and other prizes. They won their prize on the final day of “Ellen’s 12 Days of Giveaways,” an event held each December on the show, and each roommate received all the prizes that the live crowd did that day.

The gifts included a video doorbell, an eco-friendly thermostat, a G-RO suitcase, a $300 Home Depot gift card, two round-trip tickets for JetBlue Airlines and a six day trip to the Dominican Republic, where the students now plan to spend their spring break.

The roommates said they’re still boasting their cardboard cutout of Degeneres for passers-by to recognize.

“Ellen's staring out our main window,” Kreis said. “We've had a couple people knock on our door and take pictures with her. Some people put it on their Snapchat stories.”

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