How Bill & Melinda Gates fell in love when she beat him at puzzle as competitive couple had chance meeting at party

BILL and Melinda Gates’ romance began when they were seated next to each other at a company dinner party and she beat him at a puzzle.

The Microsoft co-founder, who is worth a whopping $124billion, announced that he and his wife are getting divorced on to his official Twitter account yesterday.

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The couple’s romance started after talking at the party in New York City in 1987 and grew when she beat him at puzzle competitions.

Melinda revealed in her 2019 book "The Moment of Life: How Empowering Women Changes the World" that the pair "talked over dinner" that evening and Bill asked her out a few days later in the parking lot.

She said: "He struck up a conversation and asked me out two weeks from Friday. I laughed and said: ‘That’s not spontaneous enough for me. Ask me out closer to the date’ and gave him my number.

"I think he got intrigued when I beat him at a math game and won the first time at Clue, the board game where you figure out who did the murder in what room with what weapon."

The news comes as:

  • Bill and Melinda Gates announced they're getting divorced after 27 years
  • We look at Gates' $80billion property empire
  • Bill Gates' net worth is revealed
  • Big tech's biggest divorces – from Bezos to Musk

The couple tied the knot in Lanai, Hawaii in January 1994 when Gates was 38 and Melinda, 29 but it's reported that she found the relationship "incredibly hard".

After a year of dating, Melinda described how they had reached a crossroads in their relationship and Bill had to make a decision.

One day when Melinda walked into Bill's bedroom he had been making a list on a board.

"His whiteboard had the pros and the cons of getting married," his estranged wife said in the Netflix documentary Inside Bill's Brain, then laughing at the memory.

Legal papers obtained by The Sun reveal that Melinda, 56, filed for the divorce, and said that the "parties are separated".

"The marriage is irretrievably broken," the documents say.

"We ask the court to dissolve our marriage and find that our marital community ended on the date stated in our separation contract."

There also appears to be no prenuptial agreement, as the filing states that the only written agreement that relates to the divorce is the aforementioned separation contract.

Melinda does not appear to be asking for any spousal support from the 65-year-old Microsoft co-founder.

Gates said they decided to "end our marriage" after a "great deal of thought and a lot of work" – two years after the couple marked their 25th wedding anniversary and his wife admitted marital life was "really hard."

He noted that they had raised "three incredible children" and worked to help people all over the world.

The tech mogul said: "We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives."

The statement concluded: "We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life." Melinda tweeted an identical statement to her account.

Tech mogul Gates was the richest man in the world until Amazon's Jeff Bezos knocked him off his perch in 2017.

Last year, the 64-year-old became the world's second-richest person – with a measly $124billion fortune – as he stepped down from Microsoft’s board to focus on their charitable endeavors.

Although he's given $50 billion to charity since 1994, Gates is earning money at a faster rate than he's donated it, according to reports.


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