Oprah Winfrey surprises students with million-dollar donation

It was a surprise straight out of Oprah's playbook.

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Donors were caught off guard at a weekend luncheon with former talk host Oprah Winfrey, who doubled their fundraising goal with a single donation. The media mogul now runs OWN television network.

According to The Charlotte Observer, while addressing people at 17th annual Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Luncheon, Winfrey said she would match the $1.15M that was raised by donors.

The crowd immediately went wild.

The United Negro College Fund organization, the recipients of the funds, were only expecting to raise $500K during the event. The money helps students in the Charlotte, N.C. region attend historically black colleges.

"We do want to make this the world record-breaking event," Winfrey said.

Officials with UNCF reported the total amount raised during the luncheon topped $2.3M.


Earlier this month, billionaire Robert F. Smith, the CEO of Vista Equity Partners, made good on his promise to pay off student loans for the class of 2019 at Morehouse College, donating $34 million.