Winning bid for lunch with Warren Buffett is $2.6 million, breaks online charity item record

Friday, June 11, 2010

Warren Buffett lunch price tops $2 million

OMAHA, Neb. — The price of lunch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett has topped $2 million again, breaking a previous record for the most expensive charity item ever sold on eBay.

The final price of $2.6 million was announced Friday night after this year’s online charity auction wrapped up at 10:30 p.m. EDT. The amount is even pricier than the $2.11 million bid in 2008’s Buffett lunch auction.

Robert Chatwani, director of global citizenship for eBay, said it’s the “largest ever single auction for charity that’s been sold on eBay” in its 15-year history.

“I tell you, some people really want to have lunch with Warren Buffett, huh?” Chatwani said. “It’s really exciting.”

The lunch auction benefits the Glide Foundation, which provides social services to the poor and homeless in San Francisco. A Glide spokeswoman said Friday’s winning bidder wants to remain anonymous.

“It means a lot for Glide. They have about a $17 million annual budget, and this is a huge part of that,” spokeswoman Denise Lamott said. “We’ve been hurting from the economic crisis. This will help, and we’re grateful.”

The bidding started at $25,000 last Sunday.

Last year, a Canadian investment firm paid $1.68 million to dine with Buffett at New York’s Smith and Wollensky steak house. In 2008, a Chinese investment fund manager paid the $2.11 million.

Buffett is chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and one of the world’s most famous investors. His investment success and folksy wisdom have earned him a devoted following.

He has supported Glide ever since his late first wife, Susan, introduced him to Glide’s founder, the Rev. Cecil Williams. Buffett has said the organization and Williams, who has led the nonprofit for more than 45 years, do a remarkable job of helping people recover after they hit rock bottom.

The date of the lunch will be determined later, once the winning bidder and Buffett agree on a time.


Buffett Auction:


Berkshire Hathaway Inc.:

Glide Foundation:

will not be displayed