Home Market Warren Buffett lunch auction draws $3.3 million winning bid

Warren Buffett lunch auction draws $3.3 million winning bid


By Katherine Chiglinsky

The chance to dine with Warren Buffett costs $3.3 million this year.

That was the winning bid for a lunch with the billionaire investor in a week-long charity auction that concluded Friday on EBay Inc.s website. This years price was short of the $3.46 million record, ranking third in the events history. For a third straight year, the auctions winner asked to remain anonymous, organizers said.

Buffett, 87, has participated in the annual auction for almost two decades to benefit Glide, a San Francisco-based charity. The lunch with the investing guru generally brings in more than 10 percent of the organizations budget and helps fund projects that address hunger, poverty and homelessness. This years auction will aid the charity, which has seen the demand for its services skyrocket, according to Glides President and Chief Executive Officer Karen Hanrahan.

“It was spectacular,” Hanrahan said of the auction in an interview. “This is just an extraordinary gift that Warren gives to Glide.”

The winner of the auction gets to bring seven friends to a lunch with Buffett at Smith & Wollensky in New York. In the past, top bidders have included hedge fund manager David Einhorn. Ted Weschler submitted the highest offer in both 2010 and the following year. He then scored a job with Buffett in 2011 and now helps oversee Berkshire Hathaway Inc.s investments.

Buffetts known to draw a crowd for his advice on investing, and he fills an indoor convention center with thousands of people during his companys annual meeting. As Berkshires chief executive officer and chairman, hes built the company into a sprawling $475 billion corporation that touches areas from the railroad industry to insurance.

Bidding for this years auction started May 27 and was heating up through the middle of the week with a top bid reaching $2.9 million early on Wednesday. The competition later ticked higher, amassing a total of 136 bids.

“Glide really takes people who have hit rock bottom and helps bring them back,” Buffett said in a statement. “Theyve been doing it for decades. If I can help out by raising some money for them, then I enjoy doing it.”

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