DETROIT —A Michigan woman had a very merry Christmas this year. Her Secret Santa turned out to be Microsoft founder and billionaire Bill Gates.
After participating in numerous RedditGifts exchanges, Shelby, who asked that her last name not be published, hit the jackpot on her 95th exchange, receiving an 81-pound package Dec. 17.
The package was full of thoughtful and geeky gifts from books to Lego sets, a clear indication that Gates and his team really did their homework on Shelby’s interests.
Even the inside was lit up by a strand of fairy lights, according to her Reddit post.
After a difficult year in which she lost her mother days before her wedding, this surprise was exactly what Shelby needed for some holiday cheer.
“Bill Gates, you are a blessing. This year has been a complete roller coaster of emotions for me; in March, I lost my mother completely unexpectedly only 10 days before my destination wedding … ” she shared in her post.
However, the most thoughtful gift was a donation the billionaire made to the American Heart Association in honor of Shelby’s mother.
“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.”
As an avid RedditGifts user, Shelby is well aware that Gates has participated before. But that’s not the reason she joined.
“I really encourage people to join the gift exchange. I’ve been matched with people like myself and it’s a ton of fun to learn about someone else and brighten their day, Shelby said. “Plus it’s great to get a gift in the mail instead of the usual junk mail and bills.”
According to the post, other gifts include:
—Bill’s Deck of Books 2019
—A Harry Potter Santa hat
—The Legend of Zelda Hylian Shield earrings
—Handmade Zelda quilt
—A hammock with bug net
—Seattle mint chocolates
—Toys for her cat
—Seven packs of assorted Oreos
—A cat-themed logic game
—Eight hardcover books
—A manuscript copy of “The Great Gatsby”
—A candle inscribed with a passage from “The Great Gatsby” inscribed
—Two adult-level Lego sets: Harry Potter Microscale Hogwarts and the retired Star Wars UCS R2D2
—A plethora of “Twin Peaks” gifts including an embroidered L.L. Bean jacket worn by crew members during the second season of the show.
Gates has participated in the RedditGifts’ Secret Santa exchange for many years. According to Geek Wire, Gates got involved in 2013 and signed up as any other user would.
All Secret Santa participants are matched completely randomly, according to Reddit.