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Oprah Car Winner Kiley Russell Used Her Prize To Chase Her Dream (VIDEO)

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It was "The Oprah Winfrey Show" episode people couldn't stop talking about. On Sept. 13, 2004, Oprah stunned viewers by giving every member of her audience a brand new Pontiac G6 with her famous announcement, "You get a car! You get a car! Everybody gets a car!"

Kiley Russell, one of the lucky recipients in the audience that day, looks back on that exciting moment on a new episode of "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" As she explains in the above clip, something Oprah said to the audience stuck with her. "She said, 'We're not just giving away cars, we're improving the way people live their lives,'" Russell says.

In the video, Russell says she had recently been diagnosed with lupus and took Oprah's message to heart. "Sometimes people say something to you and it's like a tuning fork on your spine -- it just rocks you," she says.

"I decided to sell the car and use that as seed money to start Big Girl Cosmetics," Russell says. She explains that Big Girl Cosmetics isn't about size, it's a state of mind -- like her slogan, "Think big, live big." The makeup line includes a tribute to Oprah, a lip gloss called Angel's Halo. "Since she gave us our start and she was my angel, I thought it'd be nice to offer a tribute to her," Russell says.

After opening Big Girl Makeup Bar & Spa in Chicago, Russell started pursuing her next dream: to get her products into Macy's stores. She says she called the company almost every day for two years. "And then two years ago, Macy's finally calls me," Russell says. "I think my heart jumped out of my chest."

Macy's held Big Girl Cosmetics launch parties in stores across the country to announce the new line, including a celebration at Macy's on State Street in Chicago.

"The biggest lesson I've learned is that anything is possible," Russell says. "It sounds cliché, but miracles really do happen. If you plan and persevere, it's possible."

"Oprah: Where Are They Now?" airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.

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Filed by Lynn Okura
 
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