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Auction For Lunch With Warren Buffett Goes For $3.3 Million

Warren Buffett is joined by 24 other philanthropist and influential business people during the Forbes Media Centennial Celebration in New York City in September 2017. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage)

Update on Saturday, June 2 at 1:05 am Eastern Time: Bidding ended at just over $3.3 million. The winner's identity was not disclosed.

Bidding is open for the world’s most expensive power lunch.

Each summer, billionaire value investor Warren Buffett auctions off his time, and a meal, in an effort to combat homelessness. This year’s bidding on eBay for Charity commenced on May 27 and will end on June 1 at 10:30 pm Eastern Time. With two days to go, the top offer currently sits at more than $1.5 million.

Since its inception in 2000, “Power Lunch with Warren Buffett,” as the event is billed, has raised over $25 million for GLIDE, an organization working to “alleviate human suffering and homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area.” The auction often generates more than 10% of GLIDE’s annual budget. Buffett calls the group “maybe the most effective organization I’ve seen for people down on their luck.”

Last year’s winner forked over close to $2.7 million for the chance to eat at New York’s Smith & Wollensky steakhouse with seven friends and Buffett. The contribution, which is tax deductible, could also be viewed as an investment. Ted Weschler, who paid a combined $5.3 million for two lunches with the “Oracle of Omaha,” famously leveraged the meetings into a gig picking stocks at Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett’s $470 billion conglomerate, which owns Geico, Dairy Queen and a portion of Kraft Heinz, among other assets.

Buffett himself is worth an estimated $81.7 billion, according to Forbes, making him the planet’s fourth-richest person. He has committed to giving the vast majority of that fortune away and is a cofounder of the Giving Pledge with Bill Gates.

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The donation to GLIDE comes at a time of growing concern over homelessness in San Francisco. Technology firms have sparked an enormous increase in the cost of living in the area, creating a shortage of affordable housing as well as a stark contrast between the financial status of Silicon Valley’s elite and that of many residents.

Some billionaires in addition to Buffett have pledged to tackle the issue. “We see a city undergoing major change but also facing urgent challenges,” said Marc Benioff, cofounder and CEO of software firm Salesforce, at the unveiling of the firm’s new San Francisco skyscraper last week. Three years ago, Benioff and his wife, Lynne, partnered on a campaign with the nonprofit Hamilton Families in an effort to house 800 homeless families by 2020.

For his part, Buffett, 87, has already given nearly $32 billion to charitable causes. He will speak at Forbes’ annual Philanthropy Summit on May 30.


Source:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/noahkirsch/2018/05/30/with-days-to-go-auction-for-lunch-with-buffett-hits-1-5-million/#193773e21f1d

Auction For Lunch With Warren Buffett Goes For $3.3 Million Auction For Lunch With Warren Buffett Goes For $3.3 Million Reviewed by mujeeb Olagunju on June 04, 2018 Rating: 5

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