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Jimmy Fallon’s big Apple freebie: iPads for everybody

Jimmy Fallon got into the holiday spirit Wednesday night by giving everybody in his Tonight Show audience a free iPad Air 2.

The big reveal wasn’t quite up there with Oprah Winfrey’s 2004 giveaway: 276 new Pontiac G6s.

But it wasn’t bad.

Fallon has a long history with Apple. His desk on the set always sports the latest-model MacBook. He’s done live iPad-assisted duets with the likes of Billy Joel and Robert Plant. And he teamed up this fall with Justin Timberlake to do some brilliant — but uncredited — voice work on a series of iPhone 6 ads.

I don’t know enough about how these marketing deals are put together to know who footed what part of the bill for Fallon’s iPads — which start at $499 for Wi-Fi only.

But we learned in the aftermath of Oprah Winfrey’s “You’ve got a car! You’ve got a car!” event that there’s no such thing as a free Pontiac. Winfrey declared the cars as $28,500 “prizes” — not gifts — which put the recipients on the hook for as much as $7,000 in taxes.

No word from NBC on the tax status of the iPads.

Below: The Hulu version of Fallon’s iPad “Stocking Stuffer” segment.

[hulu id=lqyna__lnmz36pprgionzw width=512]

And for some vintage viral video, here’s Winfrey’s big reveal. Jimmy Fallon could learn something from her about how to stage these things.

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple (AAPL) coverage at fortune.com/ped or subscribe via his RSS feed.