When the billionaire pair announced they were finishing their marital relationship after 27 years, it turned the end that money matters would be the the very least of the eye-opening revelations.

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There's no such thing as a billion-dollar divorce that slips under the radar—let alone a $124 billion divorce.

And the May 3 announcement the Bill and also Melinda Gates were ending their marital relationship after 27 years come as a shock regardless, the Microsoft cofounder and also his companion in an international philanthropy innocuously chugging along all this time, your Seattle-area house base a 66,000-square-foot mega-mansion with its very own beach on the shore of Lake Washington.

(Though there's no such point as as well much space at times, such as throughout a pandemic. "Working indigenous home—that was a item that ns think us hadn't yes, really individually ready for rather as much," Melinda called The New York Times in October, the comment now dripping with hindsight.)

Among the instant questions in the wake of the split news: What to be to end up being of your eponymous foundation, which since 2000 has dispersed $53.8 billion to public wellness and development initiatives, including $20 billion of the couple's very own Microsoft stock? and also what around all your money in general, since one the the very first behind-the-scenes details come come out around the parents of three was the they had no prenuptial agreement?

Then, that course, there were the an individual questions: Why now? What made them arrive at the belief, together they said in their main statement, that they could no longer "grow together as a couple in the next phase of our lives"? What caused their marriage becoming, together Melinda's divorce petition stated, "irretrievably broken"?

Bill Gates—who began Microsoft v Paul Allen in 1975, when the idea of an individual computers in every home was still science fiction—met Melinda French top top the project in 1987, around four month after she joined Microsoft, the just woman in the company's 10-person MBA recruitment course that year.

The high school valedictorian and Duke university grad, whose father lugged home an Apple II as soon as she was 14, sparking her attention in programming, sat in among only two open seats at a trade fair dinner in new York and also Bill arrived and took the various other chair. Melinda later on said of the CEO, "he was funnier 보다 I meant him come be."

Some months went by before Bill an initial asked her out, acquisition the opportunity as soon as they bumped right into each other (not literally) in the parking lot on a Saturday. "Everybody appeared to occupational on a Saturday in ~ Microsoft," Melinda defined in the Jan. 20 episode of the What's her Story with Sam & Amy podcast. But he said two weeks from Friday, and she informed him that wasn't spontaneous sufficient for her, the she had actually no idea what she'd be approximately that much ahead.

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He acquired her number (and the message) and also called to see if she was easily accessible for a drink that night, after the myriad meetings top top his schedule.