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The Cars Changed Lives, But Publicity Stunt Couldn't Save Pontiac

Oprah kicked off her 19th season in dramatic fashion by giving all 276 members of the studio audience a free car.

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We've never won a free car, but we bet it would be one helluva good feeling. But waiting a year for that very new ride? That has to be plenty painful. A year has passed since Oprah gave away 275 2012 Volkswagen Beetle models during her final "Favorite Things" episode, but those audience members didn't drive off the lot with their new ride. Since the Beetle was still a year away from production, audience members didn't even get to see what their new car looked like.

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Oprah Winfrey has officially partnered with the Governors Highway Safety Association and handful of other agencies to help put a stop to distracted driving. The famed talk-show host will be heading up a special live show this Friday designed to highlight the dangers of driving and cell phone use. Winfrey will be interviewing the families of victims of distracted driving collisions and government officials. She'll also be announcing a new awareness campaign called "No Phone Zone" that urges drive

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To people watching Barack Obama's election night speech from Chicago, Sam Perry is known as the guy who Oprah leaned on. To electric car enthusiasts, he's also known as the guy who bought Tesla Roadster #100. Over at the Tesla Motors site, Perry has written an essay on what it's like to own this all-electric vehicle and his famous new friend. Being caught up in Obama's "arc of history," Perry writes, has given him a chance to spread the word about Tesla and electric vehicles in general.

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Before Tesla handed over the keys to the 100th Roadster earlier this week, all they would say was that the buyer was "a special customer." A later announcement identified the buyer as "Sam Perry, a Silicon Valley business advisor and ardent campaign supporter of Barack Obama." That may sound pretty anonymous, but there's a good chance you've seen Mr. Perry, since he gained instant celeb status a month ago when Oprah cried on his shoulder on election night. Now, Mr. Man is not only Oprah's new BF

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The Universe in its unquestionable wisdom has seen fit to make Matthew McConaughey a star. Apparently the A-list actor sees the irony in this fact just like we do and has decided to give a little back to the cosmos. McConaughey is auctioning off his 1971 Corvette Stingray Convertible on eBay Motors with all proceeds earmarked for Oprah's Angel Network's Hurricanes Katrina and Rita recovery efforts. Currently the bidding is up to $40,040 with 25 bids.

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