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How one woman learned that Bill Gates was her Secret Santa

The founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, speaks on stage at the Clinton Global Initiative 2013 (CGI) in New York September 24, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS HEADSHOT POLITICS)


One of the unspoken rules of the traditional Secret Santa concept is secretly hoping the right person draws your name in the anonymous present exchange.

Even though it runs contrary to the giving spirit, nobody wants to give a nice, carefully selected gift and get back a cheap dollar-store novelty. That's just human nature.

So imagine the surprise of a recent Reddit user who discovered her Secret Santa was Microsoft founder Bill Gates, one of the wealthiest men on the planet.

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The bizarre story is of a young woman named Rachel, who was one of thousands of Reddit users who signed up for the site's annual Secret Santa event – until she learned that Gates had drawn her name for the exchange.

In the Reddit post titled, "Spoiler alert: Bill Gates did not get you, because he got me," Rachel details the journey that lead to her discovering the identity of her supposedly unknown benefactor.

As the story goes, Rachel received her seven-pound package last Monday, but didn't get around to opening it until Wednesday night.

Once she got past the wrapping, Rachel found a copy of the book National Geographic's Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Greatest Trips (she had already made note of her travel interests in the Secret Santa sign-up list), along with a stuffed cow toy, a card and a photograph.

The card that came with the gift was signed, "From Bill," and informed Rachel that a donation had also been made in her name to Heifer International, a non-profit organization that provides families in need with cows (which explained the stuffed cow).

According to the charitable group's website,, a full cow donation costs $500.

By that point, Rachel still hadn't figured out the identity of her gift-giver – until she saw the attached photo.

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"… And then it finally hit me," she wrote. "All the presents I just tore open, the charity, then everything – was from BILL GATES."

At last check, Gates' personal wealth was estimated to be in the $77-billion (U.S.) range, making him one of the wealthiest people in the world.

To her credit, Rachel thanked Gates for the gifts on Reddit, saying they were "perfectly and EXACTLY tuned into my interests."

Amusingly, Rachel did cop to Gates for one embarrassing faux pas in her original sign-up statement: "Sorry for the Apple iPad on my wishlist," she wrote. "That was originally awkward."

Following Rachel's revelation, a spokesperson for Gates issued a statement saying that the multibillionaire's motive in taking part in the Secret Santa event was to help promote Heifer International.

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