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Lunch With Billionaire Warren Buffett Sells for $3.4M at Charity Auction

by Elisha Fieldstadt /
Image: Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett Nati Harnik / AP file

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Billionaire Warren Buffett probably wouldn't advise anyone to invest millions on a meal, unless of course that meal was with him — and for a good cause.

A private lunch with the money-savvy Berkshire Hathaway CEO earned more than $3.4 million from an anonymous bidder Friday, with proceeds benefiting a San Francisco charity.

The annual GLIDE Foundation auction, hosted by eBay, began Sunday and closed Friday night.

Glide — a charity that works to alleviate poverty in San Francisco with meals, housing and other services — announced that the bidding topped out at $3,456,789 at the "last second." Bidding started at $25,000, and on Friday morning, the highest bid was about $2.6 million.

This is the second time that the charity event, which is in its 17th year, has raised exactly $3,456,789, according to GLIDE. That happened in 2012 with another anonymous bidder. Last year, $2,345,678 was raised.

The idea for the auction was conceived by the billionaire investor's late wife, Susie Buffett. To date, the event has raised $20 million for GLIDE.

“I am proud to be part of something that has directly benefited so many people in need,” Buffett said in a statement before this year's auction. “GLIDE is a bridge for thousands of people on the brink of despair, helping them achieve dignity and opportunity by providing them with basic services."

The winning bidder can invite seven other people to dine with the so-called Oracle of Omaha at New York City's Smith & Wollensky, where the sirloin runs $57 at lunch. But when the bidder wants to remain anonymous, the lunch is relocated, according to The Associated Press.

Buffett has said he gets a variety of questions at the lunch, which typically runs for several hours, the AP reported. Any subject is on the table, so to speak, except for what Buffett plans on investing in next.

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