Buffett lunch sells for $2.63m: eBay

09:15, June 13, 2010      

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<center class="t091105">Billionaire investor Warren Buffett

A bidder has agreed to pay $2.63 million for a steak lunch with the billionaire investor Warren Buffett in a charity auction held on eBay.

The highest bid in the 11th annual auction topped the previous record $2.11 million paid in 2008 by Zhao Danyang, a Hong Kong investor. Wealth manager Salida Capital Corp of Toronto won with a $1.68 million bid in 2009.

The identity of the winning bidder could not immediately be determined after bidding closed Friday night.

EBay was not immediately available for comment, and neither did Berkshire Hathaway Inc, Buffett's insurance and investment company, return a request for comment.

The winner and up to seven friends will dine with the world's third-richest person at the Smith &Wollensky steakhouse in midtown Manhattan. Smith &Wollensky is also donating $10,000.

As in his increasingly frequent television appearances, Buffett will talk about pretty much anything apart from what he is buying and selling.

Proceeds benefit the Glide Foundation, a San Francisco non-profit organization offering meals, healthcare, child care, housing and job training for the poor and homeless. Glide is also known for lively Sunday morning services that include gospel music.

Buffett began auctioning the lunches in 2000 after his first wife Susan introduced him to Glide and its founder, the Rev. Cecil Williams.

In a Friday interview, Williams said the auction was critical to Glide because the economy has caused donations to fall 20 percent this year, while demand for Glide's services was up 30 percent.

The auction began since night of June 6, and the top bid rose from $1.8 million in the last hour. Nine bidders made a total of 77 bids. Entering Friday, the highest bid had been $900,100, ac-cording to eBay.

"I'm jumping for joy. There's no doubt about it," Williams, 80, said after the bids had topped $1.5 million. "Warren Buffett understands Glide and he supports Glide. I said to him a week-and-a-half ago, 'You're such a good person,' and he laughed and said, "Well you know, I'm trying, I'm trying.'"

The 10 prior auctions raised more than $5.9 million. The first three were live, with top bids ranging from $25,000 to $32,000, according to Glide.

Buffett, 79, built an estimated $47-billion fortune running Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire, which operates about 80 businesses and has tens of billions of dollars in investments.

Source: Global Times


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