Oprah’s Favourite Things have become significantly more expensive over the past decade.
As the world’s most influential woman bid her fans adieu “til next time” this week, the audience members at her final show surprisingly went home empty-handed.
Winfrey is known for her generous audience giveaways, and a seat in her studio audience was never more coveted as during the annual Oprah’s Favourite Things special, in which each member of the audience went home with a swag of gifts ranging from cosmetics to computers.
The original holiday giveaway special in 2002 cost just US$730, 500, but her last swag of Favourite Things in 2010 came to more than US$12 million according to Jezabel.com.
When Oprah launched the giveaway in 2002 the audience gift-boxes were packed with sugary treats and empowering books, topped off with a bottle of mid-range champagne.
By 2004 the giveaway for a studio audience of 300 came to US$4.2 million, and included more brand names and electronics, including a notebook computer and LCD TV.
Criticism of the Favourite Things special resulted in a mere US$390,000 spend in 2006, with audience members given US$1000 and a video camera – on the provision that they use the money for good, and video the good deed.
But in 2007 the show returned to extravagance, and audience members landed over 30 gifts, including a crystal watch and a refrigerator.
As the global financial crisis hit the US hard in 2008, Favourite Things was canned for two years, but a massive and final giveaway in 2010 left audience members weeping and hysterical.
Each was given over 50 top of the range items, including a customisable closet system, a car and a 7-day cruise; a total cost of US$12 million.
Oprah’s Favourite Things of 2010 (estimated price per person in US dollars)
A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever by Marianne Williams ($25)
Hair care products from Andre Walker, Oprah’s hairstylist ($65)
Baker’s Edge lasagna and brownie trays with Ghiradelli brownie mix ($90)
Beecher’s “World’s Best” macaroni and cheese ($30)
Williams-Sonoma Breville panini press ($100)
Decoded by Jay-Z ($35)
Elfa Customizable Closet System ($1,000)
A five-year membership to Netflix ($600)
Judith Ripka Eclipse Earrings ($525)
$100 gift card for Kiva ($100)
Kyocera Advanced Ceramic knife 2 piece knife giftset ($75)
Lafco House and Home Collection Candle Set ($55)
Limited edition “25th Anniversary” Oprah watch by Philip Stein ($2,500)
Ralph Lauren Cashmere Sweater & Cashmere Blanket ($1,100)
Lululemon relaxed fit pants ($100)
Four pairs of Nike running shoes ($340)
Nikon D3100 digital camera ($700)
7-day cruise on the Allure of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International ($700)
Round-trip airfare for the cruise ($400)
A “25th Anniversary” Oprah shirt ($38)
Sony Bravia 52-inch 3D television and blu-ray player ($3,600)
The Black-Eyed Peas’ “The Beginning” ($20)
Tory Burch “Silver Anniversary” tote bag and flat shoes ($450)
iPad with Scrabble app ($500)
UGG Australia sparkle boots ($175)
A Coach satchel ($400)
Magaschoni tunic and leggings ($558)
Philosophy Hope in a Jar ($60)
Nordstrom lingerie and $500 Nordstrom gift card ($500)
Prepara Herb Saver ($30)
Chicken pot pie from Centerville Pie Company ($20)
Garrett Popcorn Shops “Oprah’s Favorite Things” tin ($135)
Le Creuset cookware ($600)
Miraclesuit blue jeans ($110)
A jewelry box from Pottery Barn ($179)
Jessica Leigh Diamond earrings from Dana Rebecca Designs ($2,000)
A gift card for DonorsChoose.org ($100)
Mini croissants from Williams-Sonoma ($40)
Talbott Teas holiday assortment ($150)
The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo ($20)
Josh Groban’s “Illuminations” ($13)
Johnny Mathis’ “Let It Be Me” ($12)
A 2012 Volkswagen Beetle, due for delivery May 2011 ($22,000)
Reported by ninemsn Finance staff