Ellen gives $1 million to struggling ‘pay it forward’ family

A California family of six living in a two-bedroom apartment haven’t let their own difficulties stop them from helping others.

Ellen gives $1 million to struggling ‘pay it forward’ family
FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2016, file photo, Ellen Degeneres appears during a commercial break at a taping of "The Ellen Show" in Burbank. DeGeneres is known for keeping her comedy on the nice side. But she lets her inner meanie out for "Ellen's Game of Games." That’s NBC's new prime-time game show, which begins its regular run Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, after a December sneak peek. The hour-long show subjects its contestants to minor-league torments that, it turns out, delight host DeGeneres. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) (Andrew Harnik)

Author: Travis Pittman

Published: 6:01 AM EST February 8, 2019

Updated: 6:07 AM EST February 8, 2019

A struggling California family that pays it forward despite their own financial difficulties got a $1 million surprise this week from talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and Cheerios. It's the largest one-time gift DeGeneres has given in her 16 seasons.

DeGeneres partnered with Cheerios to give the gift to Christi and Robert Daniels and their four sons. The gift was split in half -- $500,000 for them and another $500,000 to pay it forward however they want.

The family was surprised at their home and brought to the studio during a taping of the show to receive the gift.

"That is gonna take care of a lot," said DeGeneres. "It's going to take care of your debt. It is going to take care of college for your kids. You're in a two-bedroom apartment. You can buy a house now."

The Daniels live paycheck to paycheck. Despite that, they recently paid for another family's purchases at Walmart.

DeGeneres first met the family as part of her 12 Days of Giveaways last Thanksgiving. She learned about their penchant for giving and, after the holidays, decided to give the family everything that was given over the 12 days.

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