Leadership

Bill Gates reveals what he hopes to get from his Secret Santa this year

Bill Gates
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images
Bill Gates

It's hard enough buying presents for co-workers if you take part in your office's Secret Santa. But how about for Bill Gates, the world's second-richest man? Luckily, the Microsoft co-founder knows what he wants.

In a Reddit thread earlier this year, Gates revealed two requests for his Secret Santa: A contribution to Rotary, a service organization that provides humanitarian services, to help end polio as well as any book recommendations that the person has read and found particularly interesting.

Notably, Gates has been a longtime advocate for the eradication of polio. In the same thread, he admits that this is one of his biggest focuses right now.

In 2007, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation joined other major health organizations to prioritize ending this disease by 2020. So far, the foundation has contributed nearly $3 billion toward eradicating polio.

In the foundation's 2017 annual shareholder letter, Gates says that the progress in fighting polio might be one of the world's best-kept secrets. "If things stay stable in the conflicted areas," he adds, "humanity could see it's last case of polio this year."

It also makes sense that Gates is asking for book recommendations from his Secret Santa. For instance, the self-made billionaire is an avid reader and once admitted that he consumes about 50 books a year.

"Reading is my favorite way to indulge my curiosity," he writes on his blog. "Although I'm lucky that I get to meet with a lot of interesting people and visit fascinating places through my work, I still think books are the best way to explore new topics that interest you."

Gates recently released the five best books he read in 2017, so it's safe to say he's already looking for which books will top the list in 2018.

Last year, Gates requested that his Secret Santa not buy him anything but rather use his or her talent to help a cause.

"I personally love photography," his Secret Santa wrote in a Reddit post, "so I thought I was going to use my photography skills to help out my local Humane Society and ... photograph [their] pups and help them get adopted."

The billionaire is also a great gift-giver himself. His Secret Santa recipient posted pictures and a description on Reddit of the goods that he sent her last year. The list includes mittens for her dogs, wireless Xbox One controllers, Xbox One Minecraft edition and slippers, to name a few.

"Merry Christmas to all y'all out there, and to Mr. Gates, who has the biggest heart and really knows how to treat a girl to some video games," she wrote. "I'm just blown away by his generosity."

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