FACT CHECK: Did Bill Gates Give A Waiter A $5 Tip Because He’s The ‘Son Of A Wood Cutter’?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A viral Instagram post claims Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates justified giving a $5 tip to a waiter by saying he’s the “son of a wood cutter.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence the incident ever occurred. Gates’ father was a lawyer, not a woodcutter.

Fact Check:

The viral post attempts to paint Gates, worth an estimated $96.3 billion, as ungenerous by recounting an alleged incident in which he only tipped a waiter $5 after dining at a restaurant. One of his daughters, the post claims, had previously tipped $500.

“She is the daughter of the world’s richest man, but I am the son of a wood cutter,” Gates supposedly said to justify his tip. (RELATED: Did Bill Gates Say, ‘I Choose A Lazy Person To Do A Hard Job’?)

There is, however, no evidence the alleged incident ever actually took place. The post does not offer a source or give details about where it supposedly happened, and the Daily Caller found no credible reports of Gates giving a $5 tip to a waiter.

Gates grew up in an upper-middle class family. His father is a retired Washington attorney, and his late mother worked as a teacher and served on several corporate boards, according to the biography on Gate’s blog.

He and his wife Melinda chair the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest charitable organization, and have pledged to donate at least half of their vast wealth to philanthropic causes, according to Forbes. To date, they have donated at least $35.8 billion worth of Microsoft stock, making the post’s claim of him being ungenerous even more dubious.

Variations of the story have been circulating online since at least 2012, according to Snopes.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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