Bill Gates Takes Ellen’s Grocery Store Challenge

by Tod Perry

February 22, 2018


Gates may not know the cost of Rice-A-Roni, but he knows the value of compassion.

On a campaign stop during the 1992 election, President George H.W. Bush visited a National Grocers Association convention and was allegedly amazed by the grocery scanner. “This is for checking out?” asked Bush. 

At the time, the country was going through a recession, and Bush had the image of an affluent Washington insider who was out of touch with the common man. The footage of his amazement with something Americans see everyday, solidified that opinion in the eyes of many. Bush would go on to lose to Bill Clinton.

Like Bush, Bill Gates is a man who’s a bit out of touch with the average guy. The founder of Microsoft has a fortune over $90 billion, so it’s worth his money to let someone else do the shopping.

Gates had fun with his image Feb. 21, on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” when the host invited him to play a game of Bill’s Grocery Bills. “We’re going to test your knowledge of some everyday items that you get at the supermarket,” DeGeneres said to Gates. “When was the last time that you have been at a supermarket?” 

“A long time ago,” Gates responded.

The put it bluntly, Gates was terrible at the game. He thought a box of Rice-A-Roni was four times more expensive than its actual price. He was way off on a package of Tide Pods, guessing $4, when the real cost of Gen Z’s favorite snack is nearly $20. He also had no idea what Totino’s Pizza Rolls or TGI Fridays spinach and artichoke dip cost. 

But, there may still be hope for the world’s second richest man. Gates was spot on with the price of dental floss. He said $4, and the price was $3.78. 

One thing that Gates does know the value of is compassion. He and his wife Melinda have committed to give more than half of their fortune away during their lifetimes.

“I’m glad you’re a billionaire,” DeGeneres said.

Share image by The Ellen Show/YouTube.

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Bill Gates Takes Ellen’s Grocery Store Challenge