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