25 Bill Gates Fun Facts You Need To Know

bill gates facts

Bill Gates is no doubt one of the most famous wealthy person in the world! We all know the fact that he become the richest man on earth many times before. Although he was dethroned by Jeff Bezos, another tech and e-commerce company owner; making him second place from 2018 to 2019.

We probably think he can buy or have everything and anything luxurious things he ever wanted. But surprisingly he has not let his enormous money get into his head. In fact, it is not a secret that he lived a very modest life for a billionaire!

Please check out 25 more amazing and fun trivia facts about Bill Gates that you will find awesome!

#1 Wrote his first program when he was 13-years-old

Black Farmed Eyeglasses in Front of Laptop Computer - fun facts about bill gates
Photo by Kevin Ku

The passion for technology and programming started at an early age for the young tech giant. He was 13 years old then, when he created his first programming code. It was a simple tic tac toe computer game.

Because of this, he used to be excused in his Math subject to explore more on his programming skills.

#2 A National Merit Scholar

When Bill Gates graduated high school in 1973, he was able to get a National Merit Scholarship.

His Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) was 1590 out of 1600, which gave him a ticket to study in Harvard University.

#3 Raised from a wealthy family

fun facts about bill gates
Photo by energepic.com

Bill Gates completed his preparatory education from a private school where most of students’ parents are from middle – working class, or well-off business owners.

His father was a popular lawyer in their town, while his mom was working for the board of directors for a bank and a non-profit organization.

He had a good life where he was surrounded with love, encouragement, moral and financial support.

#4 He’s the 4th “William” in the family

fun facts about bill gates
Photo by George Becker

His legal name is William Henry Gates III, although he was already the 4th William in the Gates’ family.

It was an error in birth registry, that record shows his father’s suffix name was only “William II”. If registered correctly, his name should appear legally as William Henry Gates IV.

His family and friends fond on calling him “Trey”.

#5 His family expected him to become a lawyer

bill gates facts
Photo by Brett Sayles

Most likely Bill Gates’ family expected him to follow his dad’s career as a prominent lawyer. At a young age, he was smart and clever. He grew up in a family that encourages him and his siblings for a healthy competition whether at church camp games, sports, or academic competitions.

#6 Business partner is his best friend

bill gates facts
Photo from Bill Gates‘ Instagram tribute to best friend Paul Allen

Microsoft was owned and co-founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. The two tandem are inseparable since Bill was 8th grade, and Paul was 2 years older than him. They both considered themselves lucky and blessed to have each other because the two complements each other’s weaknesses and strength.

#7 Required to report to prefect of discipline

bill gates facts
Photo from Asian band artist Barbie Almalbis‘ Instagram

Together with his best pal and partner in crime, Paul Allen (and 2 students at Lakeside School in Seattle who would later work for Microsoft – Ric Weiland and Kent Evans) were asked to report to the guidance office. Their violation was they were ingenious enough to play around with the codes in the operating system of school’s computer. These clever kids tried to bypass limitation and extend time to use Lakeside’s computers.

#8 The notorious “drop out” story

bill gates facts
Photo from Science Museum

You probably heard it somewhere that Bill Gates was a college drop out. Yes, that is true. He was only able to study two years out of his law degree course in Harvard University because of better opportunities. Contrary to stories you heard that he had hard time coping up with his studies, he was a good student. Instead of taking law subjects, he enrolled in Mathematics, Sciences, and programming subjects.

Paul Allen and Bill Gates was able to obtain contract to finance their startup tech company.

After 3 decades of leaving college, he was granted an Honorary Law Degree at the university where he last left.

#9 Hires familiar people for Microsoft

bill gates facts
Photo by Christina Morillo

Perhaps the reason the multi-billion company Bill Gates founded, Microsoft, was able to sustain success is because he was employing familiar people from his past. For one, he trusted his 8th grade best buddy Paul Allen to put up a company with him. Then, hired his third employee for Microsoft Ric Weiland, who was his co-member in programming club in Lakeside.

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Another, Steve Ballmer who was a former school mate of Bill Gates at Harvard. While Gates pursued with Allen to establish Microsoft, Ballmer completed his college degree with magna cum laude recognition. Later, hired Ballmer as his CEO of Microsoft for 14 years until 2014.

#10 Bill Gates greatest pun

bill gates facts
Photo by Bruno Cantuaria

On his first year in the university, he responded to Altair 88oo microcomputer’s advertisement. He sent a proposal to Micro Instrument and Telemetry Systems (MITS) for new software product. The company was interested and ask him to present the proposal personally. Unfortunately, the letter was sent at home so he wasn’t able to receive the invitation letter.

Having the genius Paul Allen around, Bill Gates wanted to follow up and make a call regarding the letter proposal he sent a year ago at MITS. Both the oddly impeccable team point fingers on who will have to make the call.

After passing the phone many times, Gates finally volunteered to make the call. But so do Allen think Gates will finally concede. Bill Gates wittingly called MITS and pretended to be Allen. He let Allen scheduled a meeting to go to MITS and do all the presentation.

Paul Allen is forced to code the software, and prepare for the presentation for only a week.

Bill Gates performed the greatest prank that lead them to close a deal with MITS. Hence, the beginning of Micro-soft.

#11 The tale of Bill Gate’s traffic delinquency

Things you didn't know about Bill Gates
Photo from Telegraph

Few years after the success of Microsoft, it was said that Bill has been arrested by New Mexico traffic police officers on December 13, 1977. When he was stopped because of beating the red lights, but when asked for his driving license he wasn’t able to show any.

However, reports show that the infamous mugshot cannot be traced back, although it gets interesting because the supposed incident includes additional story where Gates drives his Porsche with Paul Allen as his passenger when he was taken. The story gets worse where controversy regarding Bill Gates’ road crime includes hit and run, making it his 3rd police record.

Microsoft spokesperson never confirmed nor denied such incident, only hinting that Gates has been a regular teenage driver like everybody else.

#12 Second career option

Things you didn't know about Bill Gates
Photo from Pixabay

If Bill Gates wasn’t able to make the call and didn’t send his best friend to MITS, he would have ended working as a researcher for an engineering tech company. Or work as a lawyer like his father.

Based on his past interviews, he claimed that if Microsoft hadn’t existed, he may be desperate enough to join the camp that deals with super artificial intelligence research and development. Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and other distinguished Sci-tech experts are all products of same camp.

#13 A bookworm or a geek?

Things you didn't know about Bill Gates
Photo by Janko Ferlic

Kids, if you want to become successful like Bill Gates, you have to read a lot. Bill Gate is no doubt really a smart kid. But he attributed his acquired knowledge and skills through reading. Back in Lakeside City, his younger years were spent reading the collection of World Encyclopedia!

According to him, during his busiest days, he can still finish 50 books a year. Imagine how many books he is able to read when he has a lot of time!

And once he is able to write his own book he published the “Road Ahead” in 1995 with Nathan Myhrvold and Peter Rinearson as co-writers. Then followed by his book “Business @ the Speed of Thought”. Both are business and technology based books.

#14 Into Music and arts

Things you didn't know about Bill Gates
Photo from Barbie Almalbis

Bill Gates learned basic guitar chords during summer camps when he was a kid. But few of his close friends can attest he can play trombone really well.

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Everyone also know that his crazy about Irish band U2 and British rock metal group Spinal Tap.

He is also a fan of arts and antiquities that he purchased an expensive collection of writings of Leonardo da Vinci.

#15 A pet lover

Things you didn't know about Bill Gates
Photo by Lisa Fotios

According to Bill Gate’s Reddit post a few years back, he allowed his kids to have pets. He himself is an animal lover. Their family adopted two dogs and named them Oreo and Nilla.

Gates’ home also has an artificial hi-tech spring that lives a lot of different fishes.

#16 A cheapskate or practical?

Beige Painted Concrete Building - Things you didn't know about Bill Gates
Photo by Ingo Joseph

After the success of his first startup company Micro-soft, he did not bother to buy expensive things which he can afford. It is surprising that even for his first few million dollars’ income he still fly on economy and cheapest airplane route until 1997.

Then he bought a jet of his own, but only after he was encouraged by his business partners that it’s more practical to use his own plane because he can reach his business commitments at his own schedule.

#17 Bill Gates’ kryptonite 

Closeup Photo of Purple Gemstones
Photo by Jonny Lew

Yes, we all now know the billion business magnate is book worm who loves to learn different things. But one weakness about Bill Gates is that he only knows one language – American English. Probably he can utter few different American accent depending on state but he regrets not being able to learn other foreign language or even any local dialect. Probably because he was too afraid to learn and try it in front of other people for the fear of speaking it indifferently.

#17 Was he an OC or a micromanager boss?

Photo from Bill Gates’ IG

At the first few years of operations of Micro-soft a lot of his former colleagues observed that he used to be fixated with their employees’ attendance. He monitors his employees’ daily in and out by memorizing their plate numbers as it passes overlooking his office room. 

But since the company grew faster, which employees increase from 20 people to thousands, he let that habit go eventually.

#18 A true family man

Sweet photo of Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda in Africa (Photo from Gates’ IG)

We often hear stories of most successful people have flawed family life. Bill Gates broke the cycle, perhaps. Bill and wife, Melinda with their 3 kids seems to be going strong and love each other so much that they are still together enjoying philanthropic work for 25 years.

#19 Not all his wealth will go to his kids

Photo of Bill Gates with daughter,
Phoebe (photo from Gates’ IG)

In spite of the recognitions as the richest guy on the planet, you would think his kids are all lucky to inherit all Bill Gate’s wealth. He was vocal about how much he loves his kids, but he asserted in one interview that his kids will only inherit $10million each, which is only a tiny portion of what he’s actually worth. He explained that giving everything his kids will never do them good.

Bill Gates’ wife, Melinda also happily tells everyone that her husband and kids are ordinary people at home doing laundry, washing dishes, and playing with their pets.

We can conclude that, of course he must also provide them with comfortable houses and other useful properties (including businesses). But he just wanted to let his kids learn the value of hardship.

#20 Has a favorite tree

Person Holding Red Maple Leaf
Photo by Matheus Bertelli

You read it right! The most popular billionaire loves trees. It is reported that he is fond of a Maple tree inside his property in his Washington home’s driveway. He placed a computer system to monitor the tree’s health and the surrounding environment. If the weather and the soil is to dry and humid for the tree, a mechanical system will automatically pump water to it.

#21 Guilty pleasure

Bill Gates during his high school reunion
(Photo from Gates’ IG)

Perhaps the reason why Bill Gates estate, and business grew bigger and faster not only because of his business skills and intelligence; he was also known for his conscientiousness with handling of money. He never splurges in any expensive stuff until after many years.  

The jet was the first most expensive vehicle he purchased, which technically a need for work. Then followed by a Porsche 959 collection where he has to wait 13 years before it can be used because the US Department of Transportation was not able to approve its license as soon as it should be.

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He also bought a Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester writings for $30.8million in 1994 auction.

Bill Gates built a luxurious house in a massive property in Medina, Washington worth $123million. He called it Xanadu 2.0. He got the Xanadu from the name of the house of the lead character (who is a newspaper tycoon) from the 1941 movie “Citizen Kane”.

According to Business Insider, the house has built-in sensor system that controls temperature and lighting, displayed most of Bill Gate’s expensive art collections, everything is touch-button to access change on wall scenery and background music, glass pool equipped with underwater lighting fixture and music, indoor gigantic trampoline, huge reception hall that can fit over 200 guests, 24 elegantly designed bathrooms, six fully functional kitchens, personal home surround theater with expensive plush chairs, and a colossal garage where he keeps his 23 luxurious car collection.

Calm Body Of Water Surrounded By Green Grass Field During Sunset
Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh

His front lake shore is filled with imported Caribbean sands which is replenished every year by a barge from Santa Lucia.

We are sure he will never forget to save a special place for his books. His library was $30million worth!

#22 A tour in his house is worth $35,000!

Gray and White House
Photo by David McBee

There are no actual photos released publicly on Bill Gates’ Washington home. Well, if you are curious enough how do Bill Gates’ life after office work – you have to prepare $35,000! That is only for the tour and you cannot stay there overnight. Crazy right? Hold your horses before you bash him for over charging. Proceeds of the money are all going to charity which Gates and his wife are supporting.

#23 Broken record many times

Screenshot from video of Official Gates Foundation Twitter account

Bill gates is a person who over achieved almost anything and everything. If it’s not enough to get the record of being the world’s wealthiest man –  he broken that record 18 times!

Forbes magazine recognized the American business tycoon in 1987 as the world’s youngest self-made billionaire at the age of 31.  He holds the record as the riches person in 1995 – 1996, another from 1998 – 2007, then back again in 2009 until 2014.

Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda also have broken record (with the aid of manufacturers, delivery agents, government personnel, heath workers, and all volunteers) to provide 207, 169, 292 drugs around the world in 24 hours! Doing Santa Clauses’ work but delivering medication instead of gifts. This is in the efforts to provide enough medication for the less fortunate people across the contentment. The attempt was recognized by Guinness World of Records

#24 How much is Bill Gates worth?

Grey Metal Case of Hundred Dollar Bills
Photo from Pixabay

As of April 2019, Bill Gates has officially earned $100.6billion! If we compute how much he earns every minute at this point of time at a standard 6% rate of return; We expect that roughly $191.4 is added to his wealth every minute.

So whether he holds his breath or take a bathroom break, his company pays him around $200 per minute!

#25 Accused of being the devil

With Big Bang Theory cast (Photo from Gates’ IG)

Bill Gates did not escape of the conspiracy theories like being a devil’s tool, or a member of an Illuminati. Worst, he was being accused of being the devil himself. Funny right? Probably ordinary working people cannot fathom how he was able to pull off billions of dollars in a short period of time. There have been attempts to compute his name using ASCII codes to show people that BILL GATES is equivalent to the devil’s name or the infamous number 666. If you are gullible enough to be tricked – you will believe it.

Perhaps this is brought about by the infamous case filed against Bill Gates’ company in monopoly and unfair competition back in 1998. After that controversy, there are people who look at him as unfair and an selfish billionaire.

Because of this, few fictional movies were released to characterize and indirectly portray evil antagonist to look like Bill Gates like 2001’s “Antitrust”, “Hackers”, and more.

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About the Author: Rona Formoso

Rona Formoso is a senior writer with Tech 25. She started writing for the site from day one and quickly became an important voice an asset to the magazine. Growing up as a generation Z, she has a passion for everything tech and loves to write about it.