Oprah Winfrey is known for many things, one of which is her enthusiasm for giving amazing, lavish gifts to her show’s audience members and guests. In fact, the beloved talk show host even had medical staff on hand during certain major giveaways just in case anyone fainted or had other health issues from the excitement (via The Virginian-Pilot).
But what was the most expensive gift Oprah ever gave her audience members? You probably remember the iconic moment in 2010 when Oprah drove onto the stage in a red Volkswagen Beetle and informed the cheering crowd that while they would not be receiving that car … they would all be getting their very own new model 2012 VW Beetle (via Oprah.com).
Oprah gave away a total of 271 cars. The winners were given four color options: silver, yellow, light blue, or red (via cars.com). According to Motortrend, the MSRP for the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle was $18,995.
A number of Oprah's giveaways made headlines
The Volkswagen Beetle wasn’t Oprah’s first car giveaway. In 2004, all 276 audience members were informed that they were getting a free Pontiac G6. Unfortunately, there was a major catch. As reported by CNN Money, they had to either pay $7,000 in taxes or give up the car.
Other “Favorite Things” giveaways included $700 Burberry coats for an audience full of Hurricane Katrina volunteers, a nearly $500 Ralph Lauren cashmere sweater designed specifically for Oprah, $1,000 credit cards, and a Caribbean cruise (via Slate).
Fun giveaways aside, Oprah is generous with her money and has made major donations during times of crisis. Last year, the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation donated $12 million that went to organizations providing COVID relief to underserved populations (via MarketWatch).
In addition to running her own charity foundation, Look to the Stars reports that Oprah Winfrey has made donations to The Clinton Foundation, Project Cuddle, and Free the Children.
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