Oprah's Million Dollar Blow Out

December 10, 2007, 11:29 amnewideanz

Couture fashion, real estate, luxury cars and private jets - Oprah is one big spender.

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Rich as sin, Oprah Winfrey - the world's wealthiest woman with a whopping $302 million in earnings last year alone - loves to spend.

'I feel blessed to be in the unbelievable position of being able to buy absolutely anything I want,' Oprah says.

Worth $1.75 billion according to Forbes' rich list, Oprah spends more than $1 million a week for personal expenses including chauffeurs, chefs, secretaries, housekeepers and even a pet nanny for her golden retrievers. But she 'limits' herself to a mere $116,000 a week for life's little luxuries, such as 4000-thread count Pratesi sheets and Louis Vuitton collars for her pampered pooches.

With cold hard cash burning holes in the pockets of her trendy Karl Lagerfeld suits, her extravagance knows no bounds. Earlier this year the talk-show tycoon ordered her favourite cupcakes from famed Sprinkles Cupcakes in LA. She was in Chicago at the time so she sent her private $7 million Gulfstream jet to fetch them.

'I remember the first time I realised I could buy anything,' says 53-year-old Oprah, who grew up in abject poverty in Kosciusko, Mississippi. 'In 1998, I was in Tiffany's deciding between two china patterns. Finally my friend said, "You can get both, you can afford it!" I jumped up and down like I'd won the lottery.'

Owner of the lucrative Dr. Phil and Rachael Ray shows, Oxygen TV network, a radio show and O, The Oprah Magazine, Oprah is now the world's 562nd richest person and highest paid celebrity. She can afford to live like a queen.

Although she loves fine antiques and pricey paintings, such as her 1904 Harry Roseland slavery piece, her favourite pastime is shopping for new fashions - though she's not exactly looking for bargains. On a recent shopping spree at Chanel in Paris, she bought $419,000 worth of couture pieces.

Billionairess Oprah, who often browses at Neiman Marcus and loves Manolo Blahnik shoes and Gianfranco Ferre gowns, likes to shop until her personal shopper drops. But spendthrift Oprah gives away 10 per cent of her income a year - about $30 million - to charities. And she recently treated 60 lucky women, including longtime pal Gayle King, to five days at Miraval Life Spa in Arizona, which came to a whopping $227,000 credit card charge. Additionally, singer Stevie Wonder was rewarded with a $465,000 Rolls-Royce for singing at her $1.4 million 50th birthday bash. Oprah also throws the best office parties - last year her show's 250 staff were taken on a trip to Hawaii. And don't forget Stedman Graham, her boyfriend of 21 years, who shared their $408,000 South Africa trip to Johannesburg's Saxon Hotel, and her luxury yacht, bought this summer, to take him and their friends to Alaska.

Her real estate empire includes a $7.2 million Chicago apartment with spectacular views of Lake Michigan, a $100 million, 42-acre Californian estate and a $15 million estate in Hawaii, a $5.8 million mansion in Connecticut, not to mention homes in Indiana, Wisconsin, Miami, Atlanta, Nashville, and her dad's $2.3 million estate in Tennessee. Her car collection includes a Bentley and a Rolls-Royce, always ready to drive. Oprah says she doesn't feel bad about spending so much.

'I don't feel guilty at all,' she adds. 'I don't know how me being destitute is going to help others less fortunate. I'm going to go home and sleep on my Pratesi sheets right now, and I'll feel good about it.'

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