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Bidding Tops $12.3 Mln for Warren Buffett Charity Lunch

Bidding Tops $12.3 Mln for Warren Buffett Charity Lunch

Friday, 17 June, 2022 - 17:15
Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett walks through the exhibit hall as shareholders gather to hear from the billionaire investor at Berkshire Hathaway Inc's annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, US, May 4, 2019. (Reuters)

Someone has bid more than $12.3 million at an online auction to win a final, private lunch with billionaire businessman Warren Buffett to benefit a charity that helps the poor, homeless and people battling substance abuse.

The $12,345,678 bid from an unknown bidder in the auction, which ends on Friday night, far surpasses the previous record $4.57 million that cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin Sun paid in a similar 2019 auction.

Proceeds benefit Glide, a nonprofit in San Francisco's Tenderloin district that offers meals, shelter, HIV and hepatitis C tests, job training and children's programs.

Prior to this year, Buffett, the 91-year-old chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, had helped Glide raise more than $34.1 million by auctioning 20 lunches. He has also pledged to give away nearly all his wealth.

The auctions began in 2000. None were held in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic. Bidding this year on eBay ends at 10:30 p.m. EDT Friday (0230 GMT Saturday).

This year's winner can take up to seven guests to dine with Buffett at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in Manhattan.

Buffett will talk about almost anything, though not where he may invest next.

He became a supporter of Glide after his first wife Susan introduced him to the charity, where she had been volunteering. Susan Buffett died in 2004.

Hedge fund managers David Einhorn and Ted Weschler are among the winners of prior auctions. Weschler became a Berkshire portfolio manager after paying a combined $5.25 million to win the 2010 and 2011 auctions.

Berkshire owns dozens of companies including the BNSF railroad; Geico car insurance; many energy, manufacturing and retail businesses, and stocks such as Apple Inc and Bank of America Corp.

Buffett still owns nearly 16% of the Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate, despite having donated more than half of his shares since 2006, including $4 billion this week.

He was worth $92.8 billion on Friday afternoon, making him the eighth-richest person worldwide according to Forbes magazine.

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