Woman Who Won A Car On The Oprah Winfrey Show Reveals What The Host Told The Audience When The Cameras Weren't Rolling

"You get a car! And you get a car! Everyone gets a car!"

Oprah Winfrey, audience members Joe Seer / Shutterstock / @alwayscandid / TikTok 

Oprah Winfrey is recognized as one of the most influential figures in the entertainment industry. Apart from hosting her hit talk show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” which aired for 25 years, she is known for her acts of generosity, including sponsoring charitable initiatives worldwide, donating millions to assist the most vulnerable populations of the world, and organizing giveaways for her fans that allowed them to apply to win gifts including new jewelry, purses and even cars. 


One woman was lucky enough to be in the audience of The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2010 and to be the recipient of a brand new Volkswagen Beetle. She recounted the happy memory in a TikTok video that has received over 3 million views. 

However, it is what the famous talk show host told her audience when the cameras weren’t rolling that received the most attention from other TikTok users, who had mixed reactions to her candid words. 

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After winning a new car, Winfrey allegedly told her fans that none of them ‘deserved’ it, although they were ‘worthy’ of it. 

Candi Davis, a mother of two from Chicago, appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show just a year before it was pulled from the air. The episode was taped around Christmas, the same time Winfrey hosted her annual segment, “Oprah’s Favorite Things” in which she gave her fans the chance to win luxurious gifts just in time for the holidays. Audience members for the particular episodes were selected based on a letter detailing the characteristics that they were required to send to the show producers. 


Davis was fortunate enough to be selected as an audience member during the taping of the 2010 segment of “Oprah’s Favorite Things.” “It was a crazy, crazy day,” she recalls in her now-viral TikTok video. Not only did she receive a new Volkswagon, but she was also given a motivational speech by Winfrey herself after the cameras had cut. 



“She kicked off her gold high heel shoes and sat down on the edge of the stage to talk to all of us,” Davis says. The audience members were awaiting lawyer assistance regarding their tax information so that Winfrey could gift them all their cars and other items they had received as well as pay the taxes for all of them. Winfrey, 69, took this time to chat with her fans. 


“She said, ‘I know all of you are so excited that you got to be here today and many of you don’t feel worthy or feel like you deserve any of these things that you were given today,’” Davis claims. “‘And you don’t. None of you deserve it, but you are worthy of it and I want you to remember that.” 

Davis remembers Winfrey’s words as a “beautiful moment” which many audience members referred to as their favorite part of the whole day. “But it wasn’t mine, because I had just won a car!” she admits. 

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Some people believed that Winfrey was giving a back-handed compliment to her fans. 

While Davis was clearly inspired by Winfrey’s message, other TikTok users did not perceive it as a kind sentiment. “‘None of you deserve it, but you’re worthy’... kind of sounds like a backhanded compliment,” one user believed. 


Although, Davis shares that this was far from the truth, and responded to the negative feedback about Winfrey in a follow-up video. “I don’t think I explained it exactly right,” she says. According to Davis, when the cameras stopped rolling and the episode ended, audience members were overcome with gratitude.

“[They] were just crying and very emotional about what we had all just experienced of being gifted the car,” she continues. “There were a lot of people saying, ‘I should sell my car and give the money to my kids’ … people were really humbled by winning the car, me included.” 



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The experience had many audience members questioning aloud what they did to deserve their fortune on that particular day. Winfrey overheard these conversations and took it as an opportunity to offer some inspiration and wisdom.

“She said, let me stop you right there. You don’t deserve this and if you feel like you don’t deserve this, that’s valid,’” she told them. “But I want you to feel worthy of it, I want you to accept it. I want you to leave here with the car and not feel bad, release any guilt you feel about being gifted this car.” 

“So, she meant it in a really sweet way,” Davis says. “It wasn’t a back-handed compliment. She wasn’t saying we didn’t deserve it.” While Davis recognizes that it can be difficult to differentiate between “deserving” and “worthy,” Winfrey’s overall message was undeniably powerful. 

Additionally, Davis reveals that she indeed still has the Volkswagon she won that day. She shows up the little red Beetle in a follow-up video. She adds that audience members were given the choice of red, light blue, yellow, or silver for their vehicles. Despite a few dents and the car being well over ten years old, Davis claims that it still operates great and is “still pretty as ever.” 




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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.