It’s safe to assume Bill Gates doesn’t do his own grocery shopping. The multi-billionaire was a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on February 21 and played a game in which he had to guess the prices of common household items like laundry detergent and Rice-A-Roni. Hilariously, Gates was pretty far off the mark most of the time.
Gates was tasked with guessing the price of five items that can be found in most supermarkets: Rice-A-Roni, Tide Pods, dental floss, Totino’s Pizza Rolls, and TGI Fridays spinach and artichoke dip. If he had been able to guess three out of the five products within $1 of the price, the audience would have won a prize. "When was the last time that you have been at a supermarket?" Ellen questioned the richest member of the 2017 Forbes 400 list. "A long time ago," he replied.
Most humorously, Gates guessed that a package of Tide Pods would retail for $4. Although he changed his answer to $10 after the crowd audibly groaned at his number, he still lowballed the price. Gates was shocked to discover that the actual cost of a package of Tide Pods — those laundry detergent packs that kids are popping like candy — retails for $19.97.
"It's expensive to do laundry," DeGeneres laughed.
The Microsoft founder started the challenge off on the wrong foot by guessing that the $1 box of the San Francisco Treat would cost $5. Gates also estimated that a bag of frozen Totino’s Pizza Rolls would retail for $22, when the delicious tiny pockets of scalding pizza-bite only come to $8.98, and that TGI Fridays spinach dip would be $10, when it only costs $3.66.
Luckily, Gates was pretty much on the money with his guess about dental floss — he was only a few cents away — and the host graciously allowed the audience to correct the billionaire’s estimates on the Totino’s and spinach dip. The audience was gifted with tickets to one of Ellen’s “12 Days of Giveaways.”
Think you can do better than Bill? Try guessing these average food prices from around the world.