1. Headline
  1. Headline
Image: Winfrey
Bob Davis / Harpo Productions  /  AP
Talk show host Oprah Winfrey sits atop a Pontiac G6 outside her Chicago studios Monday, surrounded by some of the 276 people from her audience who each received one of the new cars at the start of the show to celebrate the premier of her 19th season.
updated 9/13/2004 1:47:57 PM ET 2004-09-13T17:47:57

Oprah Winfrey celebrated the premiere of her 19th season by surprising each of her 276 audience members with a new car.

“We’re calling this our wildest dream season, because this year on the Oprah show, no dream is too wild, no surprise too impossible to pull off,” Winfrey said on the show that aired Monday.

Winfrey said the audience members were chosen because their friends or family had written about their need for a new car. One woman’s young son said she drove a car that “looks like she got into a gunfight”; another couple had almost 400,000 miles on their two vehicles.

Making sure the audience was kept in suspense, Winfrey opened the show by calling 11 people onto the stage. She gave each of them a car — a Pontiac G6.

She then had gift boxes distributed to the rest of the audience and said one of the boxes contained keys to a 12th car. But when everyone opened the boxes, each had a set of keys.

“Everybody gets a car! Everybody gets a car! Everybody gets a car!” Winfrey yelled as she jumped up and down on the stage.

The audience screamed, cried and hugged each other — then followed Winfrey out to the parking lot of her Harpo Studios to see their Pontiacs, all decorated with giant red bows.

The cars, which retail for $28,000, were donated by Pontiac.

“A little idea grew into a big idea,” Mary Henige of Pontiac told The Associated Press.

She added that Pontiac will pay for the taxes and the customizing of the cars.

In other segments on the show, taped Thursday, Winfrey surprised a 20-year-old girl who had spent years in foster care and homeless shelters with a four-year college scholarship, a makeover and $10,000 in clothes. And a family with eight foster children who were going to be kicked out of their house were given $130,000 to buy and repair the home.

“The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which debuted in 1986, is syndicated to 212 domestic markets and 109 countries.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

    Play nice: 4 ways to teach kindness and raise kids who aren't jerks

    7/24/2014 7:05:14 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T19:05:14
  1. Watch the full ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ trailer: What we couldn’t show on TV

    “Fifty Shades of Grey” fans, you’ve come to the right place. 

    7/24/2014 12:30:07 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T12:30:07
  2. video ‘Fifty Shades’ stars give first look at steamy film

    video Stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson offer TODAY viewers a sneak peek at the highly anticipated film. When Savannah Guthrie told Dornan that viewers had asked if he'd do the interview shirtless, he said, “I would have considered it.” 

    7/24/2014 5:22:44 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T17:22:44
  3. Not a date movie: Why ‘Fifty Shades’ a girls’ night hit

    Even though the film is opening on Valentine's Day — the biggest date night of the year — women are likely to turn the movie into a social event.

    7/24/2014 1:22:41 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T13:22:41
  4. Universal Pictures
  1. Air Algerie flight remains missing 

    After reports that the commercial jet that went missing on Thursday over western Africa had been found, French President Francois Hollande stated that “no trace of plane has been found yet." 

    7/24/2014 2:47:05 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T14:47:05