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Teenager Wins a Car by Attending a Unique Funeral in Oklahoma



Quick Smiles:

  • Gabriella Bonham’s unexpected windfall: “I’m very grateful for this.”
  • Diane Sweeney’s generous final wish: “Whoever comes to my funeral, I want them to have a chance to win my Volkswagen Beetle.”
  • Rick Ingram’s joy in making the winning call: “The perfect winner was drawn.”

In a remarkable turn of events, an Oklahoma teenager’s decision to attend a funeral of a person she didn’t know led her to winning a car!

Gabriella Bonham, 16, from El Reno, never imagined that her adventurous spirit would pay off in such a grand way.

Diane Sweeney from Oklahoma City had expressed a unique wish before her sudden passing on July 7, 2022. She had told her nephew, Rick Ingram, that she wanted to gift her beloved 2016 Volkswagen Beetle to a random attendee at her funeral.

As Ingram recalled, “She said, ‘Whoever comes to my funeral, I want them to have a chance to win my Volkswagen Beetle.’ And I said, ‘Oh, Diane, I’ll make that happen.’”

True to his word, Ingram, with the help of his cousin Suzanne Singleterry, spread the news far and wide. Local news outlets picked up the story and as expected, the funeral was packed.


Among the attendees was Gabriella Bonham.

“I saw it on TV and then we kind of just laughed it off because we were like, ‘That would be so funny to go to,’” she reminisced.

But this seemingly spontaneous decision became an enriching experience. Bonham not only got to learn about Sweeney’s life and generosity, but she also got lucky in the most unexpected way.

Over a year after the funeral, she got a call informing her that she’d won the car.

Ingram expressed his satisfaction with the outcome saying, “The perfect winner was drawn.”

He saw the serendipitous connection between a young girl embarking on her journey and the end of Diane’s. For him, it was a full-circle moment.


As for Bonham, the unexpected prize was both exhilarating and nerve-wracking.

“I was trying not to freak out because it was just so cool,” she said about claiming her new ride.

It’s evident that Diane Sweeney’s legacy of kindness and generosity will live on, not just in the stories her family shares, but in the incredible gift she left behind.