Skip to main content

‘Bill Gates is my Secret Santa!’

The 95th time’s the charm.

A Michigan woman who has participated in 95 RedditGifts exchanges just hit the jackpot this Christmas.

She finally got Bill Gates as her Secret Santa — and he sent her 81 pounds worth of books, treats and nerdy memorabilia, as well as a donation in her late mother’s memory to the American Heart Association.

“I always thought it would be super cool to be matched with him some day, but I never really would have expected this to happen to me,” Shelby, 33, a marketer from the Detroit metro area, told MarketWatch. (She asked to withhold her last name.)

In fact, when she went to pick up the box from FedEx FDX, -0.60%, it was too big to fit in her car. They had to open it at the FedEx location, and pack the individually-wrapped presents into the trunk.

The Microsoft MSFT, -0.02% founder and America’s second richest man worth $106 billion joins RedditGifts’ Secret Santa exchange every year, and participants eagerly await to find out which one of them gets the tech titan and philanthropist as their holiday benefactor.

Gates and his team appear to do their research year over year, gifting goodies that are perfectly tailored to each recipient’s taste. In 2018, a Virginia IT worker who loves crafting and sending letters was given a load of card-themed presents, plus a $500 donation to Rikki’s Refuge Animal Sanctuary in Virginia. The year before, a cat-loving Austin entrepreneur received a crate a kitty-centric gifts, including $750 in donations to her three favorite cat charities.

Read more: This lucky woman got Bill Gates as her Reddit Secret Santa

Shelby, who goes by Szor on Reddit, loves letting her geek flag fly. Her profile page shows her hugging beloved “Star Wars” character Chewbacca, and also references Harry Potter. So her holiday haul from Gates includes plenty of nods to her favorite movies, books and video games, including: a Harry Potter Santa hat and a pair of elaborate Lego building sets, including a giant Hogwarts castle from Harry Potter, and a retired R2D2 puzzle, since the Star Wars droid is “my spirit robot,” she said.

“Bill really did his research,” said Shelby, noting that she already has the two Lego sets, and is still deciding what to do with the new ones from Gates. “As for everything else, they are 100% what I would have bought for myself.”

There’s also a handmade quilt depicting scenes from Nintendo’s NTDOY, -0.18%  iconic “Legend of Zelda” video game series, which she believes was custom-made, since she can’t find another one like it online. And the crate is packed with tons of “Twin Peaks” memorabilia, including an embroidered L.L. Bean jacket worn by one of the crew members on set between 1990 and 1991, as well as five scripts from the second season.

One of “The Great Gatsby” lover’s favorite gifts, however, is a bound manuscript of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, complete with scans of the author’s handwritten notes as he was writing the novel.

“‘The Great Gatsby,’ is my favorite novel. I had some lines from ‘Great Gatsby’ in my wedding vows. So this really is a special book to me,” she said. “And it is the most fancy book I have ever seen. It almost feels like it needs a case with a spotlight to display it. It is so nice.”

But the most meaningful present was a donation for an undisclosed amount that Gates made to the American Heart Association in honor of Shelby’s mother, who passed away in March — and just 10 days before Shelby’s wedding.

“Your donation to The American Heart Association in my mom’s memory is the most special gift of all. It means more to me than I can express,” she wrote to Gates on Reddit. “This year has been a complete rollercoaster of emotions for me … It has been hard to drum up holiday spirit this year, and this has been a taser of Christmas cheer.”

And in his letter accompanying the care package, which also includes a photograph of him signing it, to prove it’s authentic, Gates wrote: “I know no gift will ever make up for losing someone so important to you. I was very sorry to hear about your mom and I’ve made a donation to the American Heart Association in her memory. I hope you and your family find your new normal this holiday season.”

Take a look at Shelby’s loot from Bill Gates here, which also includes several boxes of Oreos (“It’s been so much fun sharing them with my neighbors and coworkers, because everyone wants the ‘Bill Gates’ Oreos!”), treats for her cat, a hammock, eight hardcover books, and a cat-themed logic game:

And watch her initial “freak out” reaction video here:

“I’m definitely gonna keep participating in Reddit Gifts. It brings me a lot of joy,” Shelby said. “I can’t wait to continue, and to spoil more people with presents, and pass it forward.”

Related: ‘Bill Gates was my reddit Secret Santa!’

Source: Read Full Article


Popular posts from this blog

Fears coronavirus will spark divorce surge as couples self-isolate for months

Coronavirus is "very likely" to lead to an increase in marriage break-ups because of people being confined together for long periods in self-isolation, a leading divorce lawyer has said.Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia, whose previous clients have included Sir Paul McCartney, the Prince of Wales, Madonna and Liam Gallagher, revealed the view of the profession as a growing number of households go into voluntary lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of infection.Official health advice states that if one person in a property has a persistent cough or fever, everyone living there should stay at home for 14 days.Nicknamed the "Steel Magnolia" for her skills and charm, Lady Shackleton told peers at Westminster: "The prediction amongst divorce lawyers is that following self-imposed confinement it is very likely that the divorce rate will rise."Our peak times are after long exposure during the summer holidays and over Christmas."One only has to imagine what i…

At Least 23 People Dead in Australia Bushfires As Blazes Continue Raging

SYDNEY (AP) — A father and son who were battling flames for two days are the latest victims of the worst wildfire season in Australian history, and the path of destruction widened in at least three states Saturday due to strong winds and high temperatures.The death toll in the wildfire crisis is now up to 23 people, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said after calling up about 3,000 reservists to battle the escalating fires, which are expected to be particularly fierce throughout the weekend.“We are facing another extremely difficult next 24 hours,” Morrison said at a televised news conference. “In recent times, particularly over the course of the balance of this week, we have seen this disaster escalate to an entirely new level.”Dick Lang, a 78-year-old acclaimed bush pilot and outback safari operator, and his 43-year-old son, Clayton, were identified by Australian authorities after their bodies were found Saturday on a highway on Kangaroo Island. Their family said their losses left them…

Data-obsessed Brits spend an entire WEEK per year 'analysing their lives with gadgets', survey suggests

DATA driven Brits spend the equivalent of a WHOLE WEEK of each year tracking and analysing their behaviour, according to research.A survey of 2,000 adults revealed we typically use analytical apps and devices to monitor six parts of our lives.More than half (51 per cent) monitor their steps and movement, with 39 per cent tracking their fitness and 34 per cent regularly monitoring their heart rate.And one quarter of adults use apps to see how much sleep they get each night.But according to a new survey, commissioned to encourage the use of smart meters in UK homes during Big Energy Saving Week and beyond, three quarters (76 per cent) of Brits admit they haven’t the foggiest how much energy they use at home.In total, adults spend 30 minutes every day checking their health, behaviour and finances on apps and devices – the equivalent of 183 hours or seven-and-a-half days per year.A quarter like to track areas of their life because it inspires them to improve, while 22 per cent say it make…