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TODAY's Takeaway: Son surprises parents with weight loss, Matt tries Velveeta

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Tamron announces her Shine a Light cause, Lucas Irwin drops 130 pounds and Matt tries Velveeta for the first time.

1. Lucas Irwin managed to lose 130 pounds in a year, and his parents' reaction made the diet and exercise worth it.

“All of a sudden, down the stairs he came,” his father, Jeff Irwin, told TODAY. “And he looked just fantastic. I was more stunned than anything else. But inside, I was just beaming. I was just ... I was over the moon.”

Check out the moment when his parents first saw their slimmed-down son — it’s wonderful:

2. Tamron and Carson announced their Shine a Light causes — fighting childhood hunger and raising awareness about victims of domestic abuse — and explained why each effort means so much to them.

3. “Cheese” lovers are in a lactose-induced frenzy over reports that there might be a Velveeta shortage. We saw it as an opportunity for Matt to try it — for the first time ever!

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Cheez! Matt takes huge bite of Velveeta block

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Cheez! Matt takes huge bite of Velveeta block

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4. Do you own the perfect pair of jeans? If not, here are recommendations — for under $50.

5. The public gets to meet Bao Bao, the National Zoo’s adorable panda cub, in 10 days. But, lucky for us, we got a chance to hang out with her early. Cue the cute.

Tomorrow on TODAY: Former Ariz. congresswoman Gabby Giffords sky-dives with Savannah to commemorate the three-year anniversary of the Tucson shooting, and Olympians Billie Jean King and Bode Miller sit down for exclusive interviews.

Here+we+go!+#GoGabby+pic.twitter.com/Jmh4cgptIT

—+Savannah+Guthrie+(@SavannahGuthrie)+January+8,+2014+

And that’s TODAY’s Takeaway!

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