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

Two Maryland sisters that launched a business selling cheesecakes while being furloughed from their government jobs got a boost in business from a popular daytime talk show host who happens to love cheesecake.

Ellen DeGeneres surprised the two sisters from Oxon Hill, Jaqi Wright and Nikki Howard, with $20,000 form Cheerios for an order of one cheesecake.

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

“It’s either cry or get up and do something, so we decided to get up and do something,” Howard said.

Jaqi says everything came about after Nikki made cheesecake for New Year’s and she and her mother were amazed at how good it tasted.

“My mother said, ‘Girl, you could sell these cheesecakes,’” Jaqi said. “And I was like, why don’t we sell the cheesecakes?”

“Light bulbs went off and the Furlough Sisters and the Furlough Cheesecake came about,” Nikki said.

Jaqi's goal is to make between 75 to 100 cheesecakes a day and after their appearance on The Ellen Show, DeGeneres said the orders were bound to increase significantly. DeGeneres asked the sisters to send her one cheesecake in exchange.

"I’m not saying that I’m happy that we’re not at work and getting a consistent paycheck, but it’s a great way to use the time,” Jaqi said. “As far as just having something else to put my brain on, my creativity on, it feels amazing.”