Oprah Car Winners

By: Rebekah Baum
By: Rebekah Baum

Two local women who won cars are putting the wheels up for sale. It's a moment that will live on in television history.

Back in September, Oprah Winfrey gave away 276 Pontiac G6s to her studio audience, and friends Nicole Horstman and Jaime Flader were there.

"I was just really confused and in shock," says Horstman.

"I saw the key, I was like, 'nice job, Oprah, making everyone think they got a car.' I didn't think it was real until Oprah was jumping up and down in her high heels," says Flader.

But once the adrenalin slowed down and the shock subsided, Nicole and Jamie realized the cars weren't exactly free. Pontiac paid for most of the local charges, like state sales taxes and licensing and title fees, but then there's the gift tax, which would cost the recipients an average of $6,000 to $7,000.

"I thought it was going to be a lot less than it was. I didn't know they were going to take the value of the car and add it to our incomes, so they put it on top of what you make. It's a considerable amount," says Flader.

Nicole placed an add in the Registrar Star earlier this week, and when a Chicago radio station heard about it, they called her for a live interview.

Nicole sold the car within a day to a woman in Mundelein for $20,000. She'll use the money to pay off some student loans, and when Jamie sells her car, she'll put the money towards a down payment on a new home.

Another one of Nicole and Jamie's friends who also won a car on the show is planning on selling her wheels as well. Nicole and Jamie say they'll donate some of the money from their car sales to Oprah's Angel Network.


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