Win­ning bid for Buf­fet lunch comes in at US$2.3 mil­lion

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY JOSH FUNK

A Chi­nese com­pany that de­vel­ops on­line games bid more than US$2.3 mil­lion Fri­day to win a pri­vate lunch with War­ren Buf­fett.

Bei­jing-based Dalian Zeus En­ter­tain­ment Co. bid US$2,345,678 to win the on­line auc­tion. The Glide Foun­da­tion uses the auc­tion pro­ceeds to help the poor and home­less in San Fran­cisco.

The 2015 bid was still well be­low the 2012 win­ning bid of US$3,456,789 — the most ex­pen­sive char­ity item ever sold on eBay. Last year’s win­ning bid was US$2,166,766.

Many peo­ple want Buf­fett’s ad­vice be­cause the 84-year-old is revered as an in­vestor and phi­lan­thropist. Buf­fett is chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive of Berk­shire Hathaway, and more than 40,000 peo­ple at­tended the com­pany’s an­nual meet­ing in May to lis­ten to Buf­fett an­swer ques­tions.

Over the past 15 years,

the lunch auc­tion has raised US$17.9 mil­lion for Glide, which pro­vides meals, health care, job train­ing, re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and hous­ing sup­port to the poor and home­less. The non­profit re­lies on the event to gen­er­ate part of its roughly US$18 mil­lion an­nual bud­get.

Buf­fett has said the lunches gen­er­ally last at least three hours and cover a va­ri­ety of top­ics. The only topic off-lim­its is what Buf­fett plans to in­vest in next.

“Ev­ery year, it’s an in­ter­est­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for me,” Buf­fett said. “I’ve met a lot of great peo­ple in con­nec­tion with it. Made new friends. Hired a per­son. Had a lot of good steaks, so I can’t com­plain.”

One past win­ner, Ted Weschler, re­ceived a job of­fer af­ter spend­ing nearly US$5.3 mil­lion to win the 2010 and 2011 auc­tions. Weschler now works as an in­vest­ment manager for Berk­shire and gets to chat with Buf­fett on a regular ba­sis.

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