June 2, 2018 / 3:36 PM / 20 days ago

The price for lunch with Warren Buffett: $3,300,100

    By Jonathan Stempel
    June 2 (Reuters) - An anonymous bidder has agreed to pay
$3,300,100 at auction to have a private lunch with Warren
Buffett, the billionaire chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc
        .
    The winning bid came near the end of a five-day online
auction on eBay          to benefit the Glide Foundation, a San
Francisco charity that serves people who are poor, homeless or
battling substance abuse.
    It was the third highest price in the 19 years Buffett has
offered lunch, near the record $3,456,789 bid in both the 2012
and 2016 auctions. This year's auction drew 136 bids from just
six bidders before ending on Friday night.
    The auction helps cover Glide's $20 million annual budget,
which goes toward providing roughly 750,000 free meals, shelter,
HIV and Hepatitis C tests, job training, and children's day care
and after-school programs.
    "Glide really takes people who have hit rock bottom and
helps bring them back," Buffett said in a statement.
    Buffett, 87, has raised $29.6 million for Glide through the
19 auctions.
    His first wife Susan, who died in 2004, introduced him to
Glide after volunteering there. The Reverend Cecil Williams, 88,
Glide's charismatic co-founder, remains a minister at its
affiliated church.
    "The $3.3 million is an extraordinary gift, not just the
money but the fact that Warren Buffett lends his name and
reputation and shines a light on the work Glide does," Glide's
president, Karen Hanrahan, said by phone. "Demand for our
services is skyrocketing, in this city of innovation and
wealth."
    The winning bidder and up to seven friends can dine with
Buffett at the Smith & Wollensky steak house in Manhattan.
    Buffett will discuss anything apart from what he might
invest in next.
    Ted Weschler, a hedge fund manager, paid a combined $5.25
million to win the 2010 and 2011 auctions, and later joined
Berkshire as one of Buffett's investment managers.
    Berkshire has more than 90 businesses in the insurance,
energy, food and retail, industrial, railroad, real estate and
other sectors, and also invests in companies such as Apple Inc
        , Wells Fargo & Co         and Coca-Cola Co       .
                  
    According to Glide, these bidders have won its auctions:
    2000: Pete Budlong, $25,000
    2001: Jim Halperin and Scott Tilson, $20,000
    2002: Jim Halperin and Scott Tilson, $25,000
    2003: David Einhorn, Greenlight Capital, $250,100
    2004: Jason Choo, Singapore, $202,100
    2005: Anonymous, $351,100
    2006: Yongping Duan, California, $620,100
    2007: Mohnish Pabrai, Guy Spier, Harina Kapoor, $650,100
    2008: Zhao Danyang, Pure Heart Asset Management, China,
$2,110,100
    2009: Courtenay Wolfe, Salida Capital, Canada, $1,680,300
    2010: Ted Weschler, $2,626,311
    2011: Ted Weschler, $2,626,411
    2012: Anonymous, $3,456,789
    2013: Anonymous, $1,000,100
    2014: Andy Chua, Singapore, $2,166,766
    2015: Zhu Ye, Dalian Zeus Entertainment Co, China,
$2,345,678
    2016: Anonymous, $3,456,789
    2017: Anonymous, $2,679,001
    2018: Anonymous, $3,300,100

 (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York
Editing by Paul Simao)
  
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