Warren Buffett's Charity Lunch Date Sells at a Bargain Price

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AP, Nati Harnik
By JOSH FUNK

OMAHA, Neb. -- The annual charity auction of a private lunch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett went for just more than $1 million Friday night - a bargain price compared to past years for an opportunity to sit down with one of the world's most successful philanthropists.

An anonymous donor had the high bid of $1,000,100 when the bidding ended Friday night on eBay. The private audience with investor drew bids of more than $2 million in each of the past five years, including last year's record-setting winning bid of $3,456,789.

All proceeds go to the Glide Foundation, which helps the poor and homeless in San Francisco. The nonprofit relies on the auction to provide a significant chunk of its $17 million annual budget.

"It means a lot to us to make sure we continue meeting the needs of the people who need it most," said the Rev. Cecil Williams, Glide's founder.

Last year's Buffett lunch was the most expensive charity item ever sold on eBay. The most expensive item ever sold on eBay (EBAY) was a jet that drew $4.9 million in 2001, eBay spokeswoman Karen Sayah said.

Buffett said he will spend several hours discussing whatever the winner wants to talk about, except that Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK-A) chairman and CEO won't talk about potential investments.

The owners of New York's Smith & Wollensky steakhouse have again donated $10,000 to Glide, so they can host the meal with Buffett. But for the past three years the winners have chosen to remain anonymous, and they dined with Buffett at one of his favorite Omaha steak restaurants.

Since 2006, Buffett has been gradually giving away his fortune. He plans to eventually divide most of his shares of Berkshire stock between five charitable foundations, with the largest chunk going to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Buffett has raised nearly $15 million for Glide with these auctions over the years. He has supported Glide ever since his late first wife, Susan, introduced him to Williams.

Glide is marking its 50th anniversary this year, and Buffett said he believes the charity does a remarkable job helping people the world has written off find hope and become contributing members of society again.

Buffett's Berkshire owns roughly 80 subsidiaries, including clothing, furniture and jewelry firms. Its insurance, utility and railroad businesses typically account for more than half of the company's net income. It also has major investments in such companies as Coca-Cola (KO) and Wells Fargo (WFC)


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buffetexposed

Buffet give back the Blood Money to our Hero's whom you steal from or give them the companies you purchased with their money - don't trade money back and forth with Bill Gates then expect a tax break and a pat on the back. Buffet your not a Hero, your not a brilliant investor rather a monetary thug and braggart. Give back to those you have stolen from for so long it clouds your memory.

June 10 2013 at 1:11 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
buffetexposed

Buffet is no hero - he steals from the poorest with Americas biggest ponzi scheme (Insurance) and he lines his pockets with companies purchased with blood money. Then with partner in crime Bill Gates creates another kick back ponzi scheme by claiming to give to Bill Gates charity WOW. Shame Shame

June 10 2013 at 1:05 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
JoyzHaven

why to Bill Gates

June 09 2013 at 5:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bcunnin679

Still overpriced

June 09 2013 at 1:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
linmarco

Some ticked off people posting here.

June 09 2013 at 10:20 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
alfredschrader

Buffett owns most of Berkshire Hathaway ($64,000,000,000 ) but only pays himself $100,000 a year.
He doesn't even spend it on himself - you think he is going to give it to somebody else ? Why do you think he has everybody buy his lunch and donate steaks to him and fund his charity for him ?

June 09 2013 at 8:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ippikiokami1

He did it for the tax deduction. He wants to justify his claim that he pays less taxes
than his secretary. He does not want that oil pipe line to go in. The Railroad company
that he owns and that now transport the oil will go out of business.

June 09 2013 at 1:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ippikiokami1's comment
jelun

He didn't pay it, YSF.

June 09 2013 at 6:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
boyle1034

Maybe Warren could donate a lunch to Pablo the fellow from Hoboken who won 151 million about after taxes about two months back. That guy would do well to donate a million to Glide so he could find out what he shd. really do to hold onto his enormous good fortune.

June 08 2013 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jimmyv2222

Wouldn't pay $10 to eat with him, make money like Warren is easy formula, slowly buy a company, then get your buddies in Washington to change tax laws and contract, you then reap Billions in profit...repeat this process year after year

June 08 2013 at 5:17 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jimmyv2222's comment
Gamez

Awesome you figured it out man thats so cool you should def write a book how to become a billionaire in three easy steps dont just give away such precious information over the internet for free man! how man billions did you make so far? what company did you buy Coke? Microsoft? Google??

June 10 2013 at 2:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cardiacbuzz

Simply.....go away.

June 08 2013 at 4:57 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply