Bill Gates surprises a Reddit Secret Santa participant with a cow

BY newsdesk  December 19, 2013 at 5:41 PM EST

Flickr user Masaru Kamikura One Reddit user was lucky this year — her Secret Santa was Bill Gates in Reddit’s annual Christmas-time festivity. Photo by Flickr user Masaru Kamikura

Reddit’s annual Secret Santa exchange is back in full swing this year, attempting to again break a Guinness World Record for largest online gift exchange. Reddit has already set that record twice, in 2011 and 2012, through its RedditGifts website. One of this year’s big draws was that one of the (currently over 100,000) participants would be Microsoft chairman and philanthropist Bill Gates.

So what does somebody like Mr. Gates get somebody for a holiday exchange? The answer is a cow. “Don’t worry — you won’t have to build a barn,” Gates wrote in a note to his gift recipient. “This cow will be given to a family in need, in your name, to Heifer International.”

The recipient, named Rachel, wrote that upon opening the package she noticed a stuffed animal cow and a sealed note labeled “to Rachel from Bill.” Not realizing the name on the envelope was in any way related to the former Microsoft CEO, she went on to also find the donation note and a copy of National Geographic’s book “Journeys of a Lifetime.” It wasn’t until she found a picture that she realized who her gift-er really was.

“…then it finally hit me. All the presents I just tore open, the charity, then everything– was from Bill GATES. I quickly went back to the book to see a really nice message and note from Bill wishing me a Merry Christmas and a Happy Birthday (not pictured, because I really want to keep one part of this gift to myself) my jaw hit the EVER LOVING FLOOR.”

While gracefully thanking her famous Secret Santa, Rachel also had to add in a quick apology. “Sorry for the (Apple iPad) on my wishlist,” the recipient ended her post with, “that was really awkward.”

The NewsHour profiled RedditGifts first attempt to set the Guinness record in 2011.