Bill Gates is the MVP of Reddit's annual secret Santa game

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates speaks to the media after meetings with US President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York on Dec 13, 2016.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates speaks to the media after meetings with US President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York on Dec 13, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

Each year since 2009, Reddit has organised the world's largest secret Santa exchange, with more than 120,000 people from 150 countries participating in 2015.

The way it works: Participants are given a fellow Redditer's username through a "giant daisy chain". They scan through the given profile and come up with an apt present.

While participation is free, guidelines recommend a minimum budget of $20 (SGD$29) per gift.

Celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Shaquille O' Neal have joined in the fun over the years, but the MVP (Most Valuable Player, that is) of gift giving has got to be Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who has been participating since 2013.

For the doubters, a representative of Mr Gates has confirmed that he indeed sent the secret Santa packages, according to online media site Quartz.

Here is a list of what he has given lucky Redditers over the years:


Reddit user Aerrix received a huge box containing an Xbox One Minecraft edition, and three special-edition wireless controllers, with a handwritten note that said: "I love my XBOX and thought you might like one too."

She also received a Nintendo entertainment system classic edition, a pair of slippers, a Zelda tie blanket with matching mittens for her and her dog, and DVDs, including The Martian (2015) and The End Of The Tour (2015).

There was also a Cajun cookbook with the note: "Aerrix, Since you're originally from Louisiana and miss your Uncle's Cajun cooking, I thought you might enjoy trying some of the recipes from this cookbook."

A donation was also made in her name to for students to learn computer science.


After learning of Redditer NayaTheNinja's trip to Zambia, Mr Gates donated to an organisation committed to wiping out malaria, Malaria No More, in her name.

He also gave a tent, a Patagonia duffel bag for climbing gear, and an outdoor chair, to the avid hiker.

The package also included books on how things work, "from microwaves to nuclear bombs", together with a link to a Spotify playlist.


Mr Gates gave Reddit user calid7 a horned helmet, like the one Marvel character Loki wears, and an autographed coffee table book with photographs of Africa.

He also made a donation in her name to Shot@Life, a programme providing vaccines for kids in poor countries.


Making his Reddit secret Santa debut, Mr Gates gave Redditer NY1227 a package that contained a toy cow, a travel book titled Journeys Of A Lifetime, with a note signed by him.

He also made a donation to Heifer International, a charity that "gives families in need the right tools - such as animals, seeds, clean water, safe stoves or a chance for girls to go to school", he said in a note.

But he ignored the Apple iPad request on NY1227's wish list, as the item was made by a rival company.