|Oprah Winfrey Raises More Than $130,000 in a Special Benefit Auction at Amazon.com|
Oprah gets lesson in online auctions from Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos
Proceeds benefit "Oprah's Angel Network"
SEATTLE, October 7, 1999-- During a special, two-hour benefit auction at Amazon.com on October 2, 1999, Oprah Winfrey raised more than $130,000, benefiting "Oprah's Angel Network." Amazon.com founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, guided Oprah through the complete Internet auction experience during a taping for Winfrey's upcoming new show Oprah Goes Online debuting February 2000 on the Oxygen Cable Network. The 12-part series will follow Oprah and longtime friend, Gayle King, as they learn how to navigate the Internet.
Over only a two-hour period, bids were received on 25 items, with a lunch with Oprah and Gayle commanding the highest price of $42,100 and the highest amount of bids.
Other top selling items included backstage passes and tickets to "The Oprah Winfrey Show," which received a price of $10,100, Oprah's autographed computer (the one on which she is learning to use the Internet) for $6,300 and a complete make-over with Oprah's personal stylists for $4,001.
Some of the other more highly sought after auction items were a chair from the set of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" which went for $4,850, a signed script from Beloved for $4,346, and Oprah's bicycle and equipment for $3,150.
Contributing to the cause, Bezos competed fervently for Oprah to record a personal answering machine message, and won it for $18,600. He also put up for auction an Olympus Stylus Epic 35mm Camera, complete with pictures of himself with Oprah and Gayle from the filming of Oprah Goes Online. Proceeds from the camera also benefit "Oprah's Angel Network."
"I am amazed at how many items there are available through Internet auctions and this event with Amazon.com was very exciting," said Oprah. "I thank everyone for their support. Since every penny goes directly to those in need, you all helped make a difference in just two hours."
"I want to thank everyone who supported this auction with such generosity and enthusiasm," said Bezos. "I hope everyone will enjoy their auction winnings and feel good about their contribution to 'Oprah's Angel Network'."
All auction proceeds will be donated to "Oprah's Angel Network," a campaign launched by Oprah in 1997. Proving that small acts of kindness create astounding results, "Oprah's Angel Network" is celebrating its third season of making a difference in people's lives. Since it was founded, "Oprah's Angel Network" has raised over $3.5 million for college scholarships, built 145 Habitat for Humanity homes across the country, and embraced a host of other mini-miracles.
About Amazon.com, Inc.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), the Internet's No. 1 music, No. 1 video, and No. 1 book retailer, opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection with online auctions, toys, electronics, free electronic greeting cards, and more than 4.7 million book, music-CD, video, DVD, and computer-game titles. Amazon.com seeks to be the world's most customer-centric company, where people can find and discover anything they may want to buy online. As part of its efforts to provide the best shopping experience for customers, Amazon.com provides secure credit-card payment, personalized recommendations, streamlined ordering through 1-Click technology, and hassle-free auction bidding with Bid-Click.
Amazon.com operates two international Web sites: www.amazon.co.uk in the United Kingdom and www.amazon.de in Germany. Amazon.com also operates PlanetAll (www.planetall.com), a Web-based address book, calendar, and reminder service. It also operates the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com), the Web's comprehensive and authoritative source of information on more than 150,000 movies and entertainment programs and 500,000 cast and crew members dating from the birth of film in 1892 to the present. Amazon.com also operates LiveBid.com (www.livebid.com), the sole provider of live-event auctions on the Internet.
In addition, Amazon.com has invested in leading Internet retailers that are improving the lives of customers by making shopping easier and more convenient: drugstore.com, an online retail and information source for health, beauty, wellness, personal care and pharmacy, at www.drugstore.com; Pets.com, the online leader for pet products, expert information, and services, at www.pets.com; HomeGrocer.com, the first fully integrated Internet grocery-shopping and home-delivery service, with operations in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, at www.homegrocer.com; and Gear.com, which offers brand-name sporting goods at prices from 20 to 90 percent off retail, at www.gear.com.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, Amazon.com's limited operating history, anticipated losses, unpredictability of future revenues, potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, consumer trends, competition, risks of system interruption, management of potential growth, risks related to auction services, and risks of new business areas, international expansion, business combinations, and strategic alliances. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1998 and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 1999 and June 30, 1999.
About "Oprah's Angel Network"
Oprah founded "Oprah's Angel Network" in 1997 as a way to encourage her viewers to make the world a better place to live. Launched with the very successful "World's Largest Piggy Bank," Oprah raised over $3.5 million in spare change from her viewers and through private donations to send 150 students in need to college. Also during its first season, "Oprah's Angel Network" launched a campaign with Habitat for Humanity to build nearly 200 "Oprah Houses" across the country. "We want you to really begin to open up your eyes, notice people around you, and look for ways to help those in need," says Oprah.