REUTERS/Bob Davis/Harpo Productions
09/13/2004 at 05:00 PM EDT
Talk about a special door prize: Oprah Winfrey gave away free cars to all 276 members of her studio audience on Monday to celebrate the kickoff of her talk show's 19th season.
"No dream is too wild, no surprise too impossible to pull off," Winfrey, 50, said during the telecast, which featured a "Wildest Dreams Come True" theme.
The $7 million giveaway came courtesy of General Motors, which provided the Pontiac G6 sports sedans as part of a promotional deal with the Chicago-based show, a spokeswoman for Winfrey's Harpo Productions told Reuters.
Winfrey began the show by singling out 11 audience members, and announced that they each had won a car. The remaining audience members then received gift boxes, and Winfrey said there was a set of keys for a 12th free car in one of the boxes.
When they opened the boxes, everyone had a key.
"Everybody gets a car! Everybody gets a car! Everybody gets a car!" Winfrey exclaimed.
Most members of the audience were specially selected from letters sent in advance by viewers who were in need of a new car, or from letters sent by the viewers' friends and family.
Oprah's largesse didn't stop there: She also gave away a four-year college scholarship, $10,000 wardrobe and makeover to a young woman who spent her teen years in foster care and homeless shelters. A family with eight foster children was also presented with a new house full of furniture and electronics, plus a $130,000 check to cover their mortgage and home repairs.