The Microsoft founder tried to guess grocery store prices on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and failed

By Sarah Yang
Updated February 22, 2018
John Lamparski/Getty Images

Who shops for Bill Gates’s groceries? Not the billionaire himself, that’s for sure. The Microsoft founder made his first appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and in true Ellen fashion, she didn’t let him leave before playing a silly game: “Bill’s Grocery Bills.”

The talk show host quizzed Bill Gates’s groceries knowledge by putting five common grocery store items on display and asking the billionaire to guess how much each cost. DeGeneres asked Gates when was the last time he had been to a grocery store, he replied, “Long time ago.”

The first challenge didn’t go so well as Gates guessed a box of Rice-a-Roni costs $5, to which the audience laughed (it actually costs $1). For Tide Pods, the billionaire thought that these packets of literal liquid gold (they’re pretty pricey!) cost much less than a box of Rice-a-Roni, guessing $4 and then $10 after the audience threw him a lifeline. For TGIFriday’s frozen spinach and artichoke dip, Gates was shocked that the audience thought it cost less than $10 because it’s a chain restaurant brand.

The best (and most hilarious) part of the whole games was when Gates guessed that a bag of Totino’s pizza rolls cost $22, to which the audience emphatically yelled, “No!” He then changed his guess to $15 and then $8 (it costs $8.98). But, Gates didn’t lose all the rounds completely—when presented with dental floss, he said, “This is my best chance with this one,” which he predicted correctly as he guessed $4 (it costs $3.78).

However, We shouldn’t write off Bill Gates as an oblivious billionaire. Sure, he may not make weekly shopping trips to his local grocery store, but he does put his money to good use. In the interview, he told DeGeneres that he put $40 billion of his own money into the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, his charitable foundation which aims to enhance global health and improve the education system in the United States. “My wife Melinda and I picked global health as our big thing,” Gates told DeGeneres. “The fact that still we have five million kids who die under the age of five now—it was over 10 million when we got started, so there’s been huge progress over the last 18 years. So things like malaria, diarrhea, and coming up with new drugs and vaccines, and getting them out to all the kids in the world—that’s our main thing.”