The talk-show host gives big to educators on her annual "Favorite Things" special

By Todd Peterson
Updated November 23, 2004 08:00 AM

Christmas came early for a studio audience of 300 schoolteachers and educators during a special taping of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

At the show, taped Saturday, the teachers were delighted to learn they were the recipients of the annual “Oprah’s Favorite Things” – this year a $4.5 million giveaway that gives back to a deserving group.

Audience members received gifts totaling about $15,000 per person, more than three times as much as last year’s $4,800 gift packages.

Among the goodies bestowed on the deserving educators: a 30-inch widescreen LCD TV, a washer and dryer, a Sony Notebook computer, a getaway at a Miraval Resort and more.

The educators were asked to a special taping of Oprah’s show last Saturday under the premise that they had to work during the rest of the week. On the set, Oprah said, “You give, and give, and that is why I wanted to give you the hottest ticket in television,” as she displayed the generous prize packages for the audience members, who began yelling and wildly jumping up and down.

“Oprah’s Favorite Things” is just the latest in what has been a generous year for the talk-show host. She also gave away more than 270 Pontiac G6 cars to audience members earlier this year.