Life

Billionaire Bill Gates was this cat lover’s Secret Santa — here’s the epic haul of gifts he gave her

Bill Gates posing with the stuffed cat he gave his reddit Secret Santa, among many other generous gifts.
Photo courtesy reddit
Bill Gates posing with the stuffed cat he gave his reddit Secret Santa, among many other generous gifts.

Billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is worth more than $90 billion and is the second richest person in the world, according to Forbes.

Which means he should be a pretty epic Secret Santa.

Indeed, he is.

For the past five years, Gates has been a participant in redditGifts, an online Secret Santa via Reddit. This year, Megan Cummins, who goes by VietteLLC, received a refrigerator-sized box of goodies from the billionaire.

"I've done the Reddit gift exchange for years now. I love all the silly little gifts. I always check out the Bill Gates post and laugh at how crazy it must have been for that person, never for a second even considering it a possibility for me," she writes in a post about her experience being gifted by the second richest human in the world.

Megan Cummins was Bill Gates' Secret Santa in 2017.
Megan Cummins was Bill Gates' Secret Santa in 2017.

When Cummins got the delivery, she was surprised. "I could fit about 5 of me in the box I got. I did, in fact, stare awkwardly at the FedEx guy — I was so far beyond confused."

When she opened the box, the cat lover found feline-related gifts, including a large stuffed Pusheen, a cartoon cat used in popular Facebook sticker sets, and donations to her favorite animal charities.

"As Pusheen was being released from his box, I picked up a letter with a picture, and thought it was SUPER weird that someone was so obsessed with Bill Gates as to send me a photo of him," says Cummins.

"Then I just caught fragments of the letter all at once 'a donation has been made' 'bill gates', and my cat's names. It clicked and I started to burst out loud laughing and crying simultaneously. I was a cliché," she writes.

Plus, the Reddit username that came with the box was "thisisbillgates."

The kitty-themed haul was perfect, as Cummins hopes to open a cat shelter.

"My life goal is to fully fund a no-kill cat shelter one day and reform the U.S. shelter system to be entirely no-kill. Cats are my thing. My life-force, my happiness. However you want to put it," she explains.

"The best part? Well, second to the donations and gigantic Pusheen, knowing that at some point during my workweek, I was drinking coffee, writing a boring email, and Bill Gates was somewhere having a professional photo taken with a jumbo Pusheen and writing me notes about cats."

Megan Cummins with the gifts from Bill Gates
Photo courtesy reddit
Megan Cummins with the gifts from Bill Gates

Here's a full list of everything Gates included in the box for Cummins.

  • 30-ish pound Pusheen
  • $250 donation to The Friends of Feline Rescue Center
  • $250 donation to The Stray Cat Alliance
  • $250 donation to Town Cats
  • Stormy stuffed animal (Pusheen's sister)
  • Pusheen ornament
  • Book on cat shelters, with a "sweet note" from Gates inside
  • Business book
  • Dr. Who coffee table book
  • Dr. Who cardboard Tardis, a fictional time machine from the television program, for Cummins' cats
  • $150 Gift card to True Grit, a digital design resource
  • Miniature Austrian snow globe with a white kitten inside
  • Cross-stitch of Cummins and Gates and her four cats that says, "Live Life in the Meow"
  • Japanese Daruma, a round hollow doll symbolizing good luck, "with a very sweet message attached to it (sorry Reddit, I'LL NEVER TELL! it's a secret! muahaha)," Cummins writes
  • Dave Matthews Band shirt
  • Dave Matthews Band car Sticker
  • Scroll of the map of Skyrim, the fictional land where a popular role-playing video game is set

Having Gates be your Secret Santa may be the luckiest draw of the holiday season. But for the person who had to come up with gift ideas to give the billionaire, it might feel intimidating. Luckily, Gates' requests are relatively modest.

In a Reddit "Ask me Anything" question and answer session in February, Gates said there weretwo presents he would like: "A contribution to Rotary to help end polio is a gift I would appreciate. Also any great book you have read and found interesting."