John Oliver Made History With His Insane but Powerful Announcement

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John Oliver — master explainer of confusing topics like Puerto Rico's economic crisis, sex ed in the US, the rise of Donald Trump, and now, the debt industry. In his most recent segment, the late-night host spent about 20 minutes talking about how complicated and twisted the debt buying process is in this country before making television history with an announcement.

Here's part of his monologue:

"Let's say you have a thousand dollar credit card debt that you can't pay," he said. "At a certain point, your bank might write off the $4,000 on its taxes and then, to make just a little extra money, sell it off to a debt buyer for a tiny fraction of the cost. Maybe $50. And then that debt buyer can come after you for the full original amount. And if it can't collect, potentially it can then resell that debt for a fraction of what it paid to someone else who can still come after you for the original amount or sell it for a fraction of what it paid, and so on and so on and so on.

To drive home his point, Oliver did something extraordinary — he bought $14,922,261.76 of medical debt owed by 9,000 people. He then gave the debt to a nonprofit that specializes in forgiving medical debt. Oliver said it was the biggest collective prize given out by any TV show in history. The previous record had been held by Oprah when she famously gave away nearly $8 million worth in cars.

"F*ck you, Oprah," Oliver joked as he signed off.