Column: Santee woman takes home $10,000 on ‘Ellen Show’ farewell week

    Santi’s mum and school teacher assistant Susie Conway gets a final gift from Ellen DeGeneres as a popular TV talk show host, bidding her farewell week. The last show was on May 26.

    Conway has appeared on “The Ellen Show” at least nine times (including over the phone) since November 20, 2013, when she was initially pulled from the audience to play “What in the Box?” for Elaine. Game. The surprise in the box was a mini Hello Kitty—but wait a minute, it was attached to a keyring.

    The stage curtains opened next, revealing a red Hyundai—Conway is still driving.

    On November 20, 2013, Susie Conway, Santee's teaching assistant, was selected from the crowd and won a car in

    On November 20, 2013, Susie Conway, Santee’s special education assistant, was selected from the audience and won a car on “The Ellen Show”.

    (Michael Rosman/Warner Bros.


    On December 2, 2013, Eileen called from her theater as the cameras began to personally invite Conway to an upcoming episode. There was a lot of yelling that day at Conway’s dental clinic. This is where the mother of three was with her two sons when the comedian’s call came in.

    “My feet haven’t touched the ground since we got home,” she eagerly told the celebrity talk host. And yes, of course, she will attend another show.

    When asked why she was chosen, Conway replied, “I have no idea.” But she notes that she and her husband are enthusiastic volunteers in the community, particularly with the Santee Food Bank.

    She returned with her family on January 30, 2014 for Ellen’s birthday show – but it was Conway who received the gift. This time it was a new home.

    The talk show host learns that Marcus, Conway’s husband, has lost his job and that their house is old and in disrepair.

    “We are a typical family. We live from paycheck to paycheck,” Conway told me. “Other things take precedence over home repairs.”

    The producers of “The Ellen Show” rented a home in La Mesa for Conways while their 1,200-square-foot three-bedroom home was torn down, rebuilt and replaced with a 2,100-square-foot four-bedroom home, thanks to GAF roof makers.

    HGTV’s design gurus, cousins ​​John Colaneri and Anthony Carino, took over the home decor.

    On another episode of The Ellen Show, “Take Cousins ​​Conway shopping for fabrics and furnishings. She returned to the air on May 20, 2014, for the big reveal, the keys to her new home and a tearful tour of the elegantly curated and fully furnished home.”

    “At Halloween, we still have trick-or-treaters asking, ‘Is this Ellen’s house?'” Marcus says. “.

    Hyundai Susie Conway sits in the driveway of her new home in Santi - The car and house were gifts from Ellen DeGeneres.

    Hyundai Susie Conway sits in the driveway of her new home in Santi – The car and house were gifts from Ellen DeGeneres.

    (photo courtesy)

    but that is not all. When the 2000 episode of the comedian’s show was taped in 2015, special guests from across the country were again invited by the producers. They included Conway and 11 former audience members who received cars, cash, homes, and other big gifts in the past years.

    “I don’t know how they chose us, but they chose us to do this show,” Conway says. “She has blessed us all in one way or another. From the time we all walked into the room we immediately called her.”

    Although their number was 12, they called themselves “Lucky 13” because the two thousand peopleThe tenth The episode took place in season 13.

    “We refer to ourselves as kindness ambassadors,” Conway says.

    All of them are involved in volunteering and push it forward in their communities.

    After bonding as a group while recording, they pledged to stay in touch and formed a text chat group.

    “We text each other a few times a week. We talk about everything. Some people have difficulties, so we all come together and hold each other’s hands and almost hold each other’s hands. We share a lot of happy times too.”

    Lucky 13 has also been linked to the “Ellen Show” producers and staff, whom they refer to as “The Ellen Family.”

    The group was invited to return for one last time for the May 25 show. Unfortunately, one of the members died of cancer and another suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and was unable to attend, as was his brother.

    Each got another gift – a check for $10,000.

    “I looked at Marcus and said, ‘There’s some donation going out,'” Conway told me this week after the show aired. “There are two charities close to our hearts for children and people who need support. We will push it forward.”

    She still doesn’t know what she did to get Ellen’s attention. She was writing regularly asking for show tickets. With their 25th wedding anniversary approaching, all she and her husband wanted was to see the show live. She says her daughter, Sydney, who was then 21, also wrote several times and called them.

    “Just going to the show is a fun and fun experience—some say it’s more fun than Disneyland,” Conway says.

    When asked about the difference Ellen DeGeneres has made in her life, Conway choked her tears once again. “I don’t know if there are any words. … We were amazed by the kindness and generosity of everything and the constant support.”

    She’s sad that the show is over, but she’s glad Elaine has had an amazing tour, taking a small talk show and turning it into an enduring success and platform that shows what kindness can do.

    “Eileen’s heart is so big… I hope this show will help us continue to do good and help people in any small and big way we can.”

    Eileen was also a benefactor. Having signed for the last time on May 26, she declared, “This show changed my life forever.”