SEATTLE - One woman's secret Santa this holiday season turned out to be one of the richest men in the world: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
The gift exchange happened through the website Reddit's secret Santa event, in which users swap presents across the country.
The Reddit user who got Gates as her secret Santa, identified only as Rachel, said she posted a list of potential gifts including makeup, nail polish and an iPad.
"I thought Bill sounded like a friendly fellow," Rachel said. "In fact, I had this whole image of this poor guy named Bill trying to navigate my wish list full of makeup, nail polish, glittery things to buy me. Quite frankly, I felt bad for this Bill," Rachel said in a follow-up post on Reddit.
Rather than cosmetics, Rachel received a package containing a stuffed cow, a note saying a donation had been made in her name to Heifer International, and a large book about world travel.
Rachel said she'd written at length about her love for travel, so the book was a perfect gift.
"I quickly flipped through it, missing the inscription, message and signature from Bill on the first page and headed to the final part of my gift. Once again, To me, From Bill. I opened this and it's a man holding a sign. Oh ... wait," Rachel wrote on Reddit.
"And then it finally hit me. All the presents I just tore open, the charity, then everything -- was from Bill GATES.
A spokesman for Gates confirmed he participated. Spokesman John Pinette says the billionaire philanthropist wanted to engage with Reddit's community and promote Heifer International, a foundation that provides seeds and animals to people in need in the developing world.
"My jaw hit the EVER LOVING FLOOR," Rachel wrote. "I went back to all the other gifts completely shocked. My god. Never in my entire life did I imagine, ever, ever, ever that Bill would get me. I am SO SO thankful for the time, thought and energy he put into my gift, and especially thankful for him overnighting it."
Rachel also expressed embarrassment at asking for an iPad – a major competitor to Microsoft's Surface tablet.
"That was really awkward," she wrote.