Oprah Winfrey Reflects Back on the Famous 'You Get a Car!' Giveaway

Who could ever forget the time Oprah declared the phrase "You get a car," 11 times.


“You get a car, you get a car, everybody gets a car!”

Oprah Winfrey uttered those now-famous words 11 years ago on her mega-successful The Oprah Show, making it one of the most memorable giveaways in the history of daytime TV.

And recently Winfrey, 61, explained how her unscripted outbursts came to be.

“I was saying that because people were screaming so loudly they didn’t know what was going on,” she told ET about giving away brand new Pontiac G6s to all 276 members of her studio audience during a 2004 taping.

“Prior to that moment, I had said, ‘Open up your boxes. One person has a key.’ So when I looked at the faces of the audience, they go, ‘But I have a key… but she has a key,’ so that’s why I said, ‘You get a car! You get a car!’ to try to clarify, because they all looked so confused. Everybody gets a car!”

For the 19th season, which featured a “Wildest Dreams Come True” theme, 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.

The Pontiac G6 maxed out at just below $30,000 per person, with Oprah’s overall giveaway totaling $7 million.

During the talk show’s 25 seasons, some of Oprah’s greatest giveaways include houses, trips, scholarships and, of course, Oprah’s Favorite Things.

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