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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

December 19, 2013 at 6:10 AM

Bill Gates’ Secret Santa gig thrills Reddit gift recipient

For most folks, a Secret Santa might turn out to be the colleague who works a few cubicles down.

But one participant in Reddit’s Secret Santa gift exchange got a thrill when she found out her Secret Santa was none other than Bill Gates.

The participant, named Rachel, wrote a post Wednesday about how she found out.

Rachel was participating in redditgifts, in which Internet strangers/friends from around the world exchange gifts with each other. Last year, the Secret Santa exchange — one of several redditgifts’ online gift exchanges each year — had 44,805 participants.

Rachel writes that she first saw the gift — a stuffed-animal cow — and a card that said simply: “to Rachel, from Bill.”  The card clarified that this Bill had donated to the charity Heifer International on her behalf — hence the stuffed cow.

The gift also included a travel book.

But it wasn’t until Rachel got to the signed card from one “Bill Gates,” and saw a photo Gates had included of himself with the stuffed cow and the signed card, that “it finally hit me,” Rachel wrote. “All the presents I just tore open, the charity, then everything– was from Bill GATES.”

“My god. Never in my entire life did I imagine, ever, ever, ever that Bill would get me,” she continued writing. “I am SO SO thankful for the time, thought and energy he put into my gift, and especially thankful for him over nighting it :)”

John Pinette, a Gates family spokesman, said: “Bill had a great experience doing an AMA on Reddit earlier in the year — so this was a fun way to reengage with the community.”

Bill and Melinda Gates had chosen Heifer International as one of four charities they highlighted during Giving Tuesday and their foundation had worked with the organization in the past.

“It’s a great charity that gets practical help to poor families that can have a lasting impact, so it’s a nice double win to get to participate in the gift swap — as well as plug a charity that’s doing good work,” Pinette said.

Rachel’s full account is here.

Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: bill gates, reddit

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