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Bill Gates and Warren Buffett Really Know How to Let Loose

(By Sam Dangremond/Photo by Michael Hsing)

Even billionaires love to play games.

At Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting in Omaha on May 7, the two moguls continued their tradition of playing bridge and table tennis. But rather than playing against each other, the “Oracle of Omaha” and Microsoft co-founder took on ping-pong prodigy Ariel Hsing, who played on the U.S. Olympic team in 2012.

Buffett’s connection to Hsing goes back to 2005, when his bridge partner Sharon Osberg (a former world bridge champion) invited 9-year-old Hsing from San Jose, California, to the 75th birthday party she was throwing for Buffett. Hsing, the under-10 U.S. girls’ champion at the time, dominated Buffett in a game; he told the Wall Street Journal that “the only way I could have beaten her would have been if someone was holding her down.”

The two have stayed in touch. In 2007, Buffett invited Hsing and her family to the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting and offered free boxes of See’s candies to anyone who could beat the 11-year-old. Dozens, including Gates, tried. They all lost. In fact, hardly anyone even scored a point against her.

Hsing, now a senior at Princeton, has returned to the annual meeting year after year to visit the man she calls “Uncle Warren.”

(Video courtesy of Ariel’s father: Michael Hsing)

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