Power Players

Melinda and Bill Gates share this completely relatable night-time routine as a way to relax

Bill and Melinda Gates are presented with the 2016 Presidential Medal Of Freedom by President Obama at White House on November 22, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Leigh Vogel | Getty Images

Bill and Melinda Gates might be billionaires, but they still have one completely relatable pastime: binge watching PBS's "Victoria" together. 

"I try not to work after dinner — that was kind of a mantra I made for myself about four years ago," Melinda Gates recently told The Cut about her evening routine. "I'll often read, talk with Bill, and then, generally, I'll watch something relaxing before bedtime with Bill or Phoebe," the Gates' 16-year-old daughter.

Even while Gates was on tour for her new book, "The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World," from late April to May 9, she still found a way to watch the family's go-to show together.

"Recently we watched all three seasons of 'Victoria' on PBS, and had to hurry the last day and binge-watch the last three episodes before I left for the book tour, because we don't watch without each other," Gates told The Cut. "If we're in separate locales, we'll agree to both watch the same episode at the same time so we're caught up with each other."

By day, Gates is the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest private charitable foundation, and the founder of Pivotal Ventures, an investment firm that focuses on advancing progress for women and families in the U.S. Her workdays are typically packed with back-to-back meetings with short, 15 minutes breaks peppered throughout, she told The Cut.

Nights though, are a time to decompress with the family. Gates also has a 23-year-old daughter, Jennifer, and a 19-year-old son, Rory.

"Bill and our daughter Phoebe and I try to have dinner as often as we can together, usually around 6 p.m., sometimes as late as 7 p.m," Melinda told The Cut. "Dinner is usually a mix of whatever Phoebe and Bill and I like — anything from Mexican food to Asian to steak dinners or fish."

As for the dishes, Bill said in a 2014 Reddit "ask me anything" that he does them every night. "[O]ther people volunteer, but I like the way I do it," he wrote. 

When it comes to bedtime, Melinda Gates said her "aspirational time to go to bed is 9:30 p.m," but unless she's on a work trip, "realistically, it's between 10 and 10:30 p.m.," she told The Cut. 

Gates previously told CNBC Make It that she and her family also like to relax by kayaking, going to movies together and playing "a crazy game called pickleball," which is similar to badminton or tennis, but played with paddles and a light plastic ball. It's favorite of suburbanites, and according to Melinda, of the Gates family.

"We are huge pickleball fans," Gates said.

Don't miss: This is how Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates spends his money

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How Bill and Melinda Gates negotiated school drop-offs


Bill and Melinda Gates are presented with the 2016 Presidential Medal Of Freedom by President Obama at White House on November 22, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Leigh Vogel | Getty Images
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