Tosha Ridgeway, who uses a life-size Oprah cutout as a hall pass at Rockwall High School where she teaches English, was named an "ultimate fan" and invited to the taping of Winfrey's season-opening show in Chicago. Ridgeway asked her mother to go, but the older woman wasn't available. She then invited Melissa Nelson, who teaches across the hall, to join her.
Both jumped, screamed and hugged when Oprah shouted to the audience, "We are going to Australia!" -- giving every ultimate fan, including Ridgeway, a 10-day trip. When staff members mentioned each fan could bring a guest, Ridgeway quickly invited Nelson.
But Nelson said she realized she really couldn't go. It was only right, she said, that Ridgeway take her mother on the all-expenses-paid trip. So Nelson is letting Ridgeway's mom journey "down under" starting in early December, instead.