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Oprah fans can buy a piece of TV queen’s show history

Oprah Winfrey at the taping of her final show, which aired May 25, 2011. | George Burns/Harpo Productions

Oprah Winfrey is auctioning off the chairs her audience sat on in her long-running Harpo Studio TV set — the ones actually used by the lucky final audience members at the final “Oprah Winfrey Show” in River West on May 25, 2011. While the starting bids will begin at $25, it’s likely the 246 lots (mostly single seats, but a few are two and three-seat configurations) will end up going for quite a bit more money.

A typical chair being auctioned off.
A typical chair being auctioned off.

The good news: Winfrey will be donating the net proceeds to benefit her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation, supporting her school for girls in South Africa.

A commemorative plaque will be affixed to each seat, ensuring its value as a collectible.

The auction will commence online and is being run by ScreenBid at oprah.screenbid.com. The bidding will begin at 2 p.m. Thursday, and is scheduled to close at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 12.

This is the commemorative plaque that will be affixed to each chair in the Oprah auction.
This is the commemorative plaque that will be affixed to each chair in the Oprah auction.

The auction celebrates the fifth anniversary of the final telecast of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which was a Chicago-based television phenomenon for 25 years and the highest-rated talk show in TV history — reaching more than 40 million viewers weekly in the U.S. and in 150 countries around the world.