John Oliver Forgave $15 Million Of Medical Debt In TV’s Biggest Giveaway In History

There are many ways to break the internet — you can showcase your undeniable butt, sing songs wearing a Chewbacca mask, or just be the owner of a meme-worthy cat. All of these are valid in their own right, but possibly one of the most badass and generous internet-shattering moments was Sunday night when John Oliver forgave $15 million of medical debt.

In a stunt that doubled as remarkably charitable and educational, in the latest episode of Last Week Tonight, the brilliant late-night host went on a rampage exposing the corruption in the American debt buying system and just how easy it is to join in on the exploitation. Following a thorough overview of the horrifyingly invasive practices of debt collectors (which include throwing papers through doorways and charging people for debt they’ve already paid off) and the lack of regulations on those practices, Oliver put his money where his mouth is by purchasing his own debt collecting agency for a mere $50.

Oliver appointed himself chairman of the board and named his debt collection company Central Asset Recovery Professionals or in his words, CARP, “like a bottom-feeding fish.” He explained: “Any idiot can get into it. I can prove that to you, because I’m an idiot and I started a debt buying company and it was disturbingly easy.”

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CREDIT: Youtube/Screenshot

Using his experiment in debt buying as an educational opportunity for viewers, Oliver shared that immediately after setting up and registering CARP, he was given the opportunity to purchase $15 million dollars of medical debt for only $60,000 — which rounds out to spending less than half a cent on the dollar. Once CARP had purchased the debt, Oliver was given the social security numbers of nearly 9,000 citizens in debt, which, as he explicitly stated, endowed him with the horrifying ability to potentially harass and ruin people’s lives over their medical debt.

Instead, he opted to take the more radical high road.

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CREDIT: Youtube/Screenshot

After revealing his possession of $15 million dollars in medical debt, and the horrifying implications that go along with that, Oliver quickly relieved audience members by assuring them that Last Week Tonight made the decision to pay off the debt and send the debtors information to RIP Medical Debt , an organization that specializes in debt forgiveness. While Oliver financially paid off the debt, RIP Medical Debt did the paperwork involved in the forgiveness process and contacted the individual debtors with the good news.

Oliver playfully joked that not only was forgiving $15 million dollars in medical debt the obviously moral thing to do, but it put his show on the charts as holding the highest television giveaway, nearly doubling when Oprah made television history by gifting $8 million dollars worth of cars.

If you’re going to compete with Oprah, it better be in generosity. And holy hell, John Oliver pulled this shit off.