Founder of Microsoft and consequently one of the richest people in the world, Bill Gates joined Ellen DeGeneres on her chat-show this week. Along with the standard interviews, Mr Gates was challenged to guess the price of everyday items found in American grocery stores. Of course, he was set up to fail for the hilarity for the rest of us – and he didn’t disappoint.
Ellen set out the rules for the salmon-coloured, jumper-wearing Bill, “If you can guess 3 out of the 5 products, within a dollar of each one, the audience will get something…”
For most people, this game would be far from challenging. However, the 62-year-old billionaire admitted it was ‘a long time ago’ since he’d been at a supermarket. Ellen responded awkwardly, “Alright. This will be interesting.”
The first item he was asked to guess was a box of Rice-A-Roni: a PepsiCo product; it’s a box of rice and pasta mixed together. Without hesitation and to the audience’s shock, Bill guesses $5. He seems shocked to discover that the product in reality only costs $1. He jokes, “I’ll take five.”
Next up were the laundry detergent product Tide Pods, which have been in the news recently as people in the US were partaking in the ‘Tide Pod Challenge’ where they had to eat one of the chemical-laced items. If we didn’t already assume not, this clarified that Bill Gates certainly doesn’t do his own laundry. Having guessed too high on the previous product, he guessed a conservative $4. The audience again exclaimed their shock at this so Gates responded, “No, no, they want me to go higher. Let’s go…10, $10…” Mouth gawped open in dismay, Gates couldn’t believe that the washing detergent’s actual cost was $19.97. Ellen explained, “It’s expensive to do laundry!” Bill tries his same joke again, “I’ll take a half.” Having heard the joke only moments previously, the audience didn’t react to the joke, and Ellen swiftly moves on.
Next up, Gates momentarily redeems himself by guessing $4 for the $3.78 floss, to which he gets a round of applause from the audience.
Either fed up with the game, playing for the laughs from the crowd or just so out of touch with modern food products it’s hilariously embarrassing, next Gates guesses a bag ‘Totino’s Pizza Rolls’ costs $22. With the audience’s assistance, he reduces his guess down to $15, and then to $8. The actual cost is $8.98, so meant Gates was one correct guess away from winning the audience a prize.
The final product was TGI Friday’s Frozen Spinach & Artichoke Dip. Trying to justify his thought-process, Gates explains to the audience, “It’s branded, you think less than $10!?” Looking confused, and taking the help of the audience and Ellen now he guesses $4 for the product that costs $3.66.
The billionaire who sits at the top of the richest people in the world list along with the likes of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Zara founder Amancio Ortega and Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, managed to guess 3 items within $1 and therefore won the prizes for the audience. Despite the help from Ellen and the audience, Gates did seem legitimately and endearingly surprised at the costs of everyday household items, often getting them embarrassingly wrong, only to redeem himself.
Next step for Bill in his rehabilitation into real-life will be to actually step into a supermarket. However, for now, guessing items on a game-show is a good start.