Oprah cashed in on buzz about her running for president — here’s how much she made

Oprah cashed in on buzz about her running for president — here’s how much she made
Oprah Winfrey owns about 10 percent of Weight Watchers, and after her Golden Globes speech Sunday night, the company's stock went up 12.2 percent Monday. (Rich Polk/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

We don’t know if Oprah Winfrey will run for president in 2020, but just the buzz from her Golden Globes speech and potential candidacy has made her a lot of money, according to USA Today.

Winfrey owns about 10 percent of Weight Watchers, and is a very public face of the company. After her Golden Globes speech Sunday night led to rumors and discussions of her running for office, the company’s stock went up 12.2 percent Monday.

Weight Watchers stock closed at $52.62. For context, Winfrey bought in when the stock was at just $6.79 in 2015, investing $43.2 million.

Monday’s boost works out to a paper profit of more than $36 million from Friday to Monday for Winfrey, whose net worth is currently estimated at 2.8 billion.

Before her speech at the awards show, host Seth Meyers dropped a joke that set the rumor train in motion. Meyers referenced his disparaging jokes about President Donald Trump at the 2011 White House correspondents’ dinner, which some have said motivated Trump to run for president, and jokingly tried to use the same tactic on Winfrey and actor Tom Hanks.

“Oprah, you will never be president,” Meyers joked. “You do not have what it takes. And Hanks! Where’s Hanks? You will never be vice president. You are too mean and unrelatable. Now we just wait and see.”

Like other celebrities rumored to be running in 2020, such as Disney CEO Bob Iger and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Winfrey did not reveal (or deny) any intentions of running for president.

“I say, I’m just glad I got through the speech,” Winfrey told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday night. “I thought a lot about it. I wanted this to be a meaningful moment.”

Even that noncommittal statement is a marked change from what she told The Hollywood Reporter in June, when she said “I will never run for public office. That’s a pretty definitive thing.”