After 25 years on the air, Oprah’s final season is going out with a bang! Just as she did in the fall of 2004, Oprah has given her guests a ride home. She gave 275 rides home, in fact, by giving every guest of her “Oprah’s Favorite Things” episode a 2012 Volkswagen Beetle.
The publicity stunt stunned the world in the fall of 2004, being hailed as one of the all-time greatest moments in television history. That day, Oprah gave away a Pontiac G6 to 276 audience members, saying enthusiastically, “You get a car! You get a car! You get a car! Everybody gets a car!” according to ABC Action News 6. Now, in her last season, she has done it again.
This year, Oprah nearly unveiled the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle, teasing the world with the silhouette of the iconic car from behind a white screen. Her own red Volkswagen Beetle sat shining under the stage lights, looking like a playful holiday ornament.
“FedEx Elves” passed out little black boxes that contained keys to the cars, while paramedics stood by in case someone should collapse in the excitement. The audience was ecstatic, some screaming, others crying.
There were other lavish gifts as well. Audience members were given a week-long Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas cruise, a Tori Burch flannel tote, a book by Jay-Z and a $2,500 Oprah 25th anniversary watch by elegant watchmaker Phillip Stein, says the UK Daily Mail. The lucky Oprah audience members also received a Nikon Digital SLR camera, Sony 3D TV, Judith Ripka sapphire earrings and five free years of Netflix.
Oprah’s unimaginable success has led to her personal history being taught as a college course at the University of Illinois. According to Racematters.org, Professor Juliet E.K. Walker, who specializes in the history of African-American business, created the course “History 298: Oprah Winfrey, the Tycoon.” The class covers the cultural impact of the confessional talk show industry that the billionaire entrepreneur revolutionized, as well as the history of black business in the United States.