Fact Check-Photo does not show Bill Gates giving interviewer a blank check

An image of Bill Gates seemingly giving a female journalist the gift of a blank check is creating confusion online. Gates actually received a gift from British morning show hosts Ben Sheppard and Holly Willoughby. Claims that Gates gave a journalist a blank check while illustrating the secret to his success are false.

An example of the claim visible here shares the alleged exchange between a female interviewer and Gates, which reads, in part, "Bill Gates handed a blank check to a journalist telling her to write the amount of money she wanted."

The narrative in the claim continues with the journalist declining the offer and Bill Gates responding, “If you had the philosophy to see situations and proposals as opportunities, you could have become the richest journalist in the world ... The difference between you and me is that I see opportunities in everything and you saw everything, except a chance.”

Additional examples of similar social media posts are observable here , here , and here .

Video footage from the show at approximately the 5:44 mark (here) shows Gates receiving a wrapped present from Willoughby during the This Morning talk show in the U.K. ( Gates opens the box to find a mug bearing the name of the television program.

A search for a blank-check interview with Gates returned no footage, photos, or credible reporting from reputable sources. A media representative for the Gates Foundation told Reuters via email this claim was false.


Mislabeled. A photo claiming to show Bill Gates giving a blank check to a journalist is mislabeled. Gates received a gift from hosts of Britain’s ‘This Morning’ show.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .