18th June, 2022
A likely wealthy person bid more than $19 million to dine with billionaire Warren Buffett, in the 21st and final time he auctioned a private lunch to benefit a San Francisco charity.
The charity called Glide helps the poor, homeless and people battling substance abuse.
Initial reports put the highest bid at $13,141,314 as of 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT).
It surpassed the previous record $4.57 million that cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin Sun paid in a similar 2019 auction. Bidding this year on eBay ends at 10:30 p.m. EDT.
Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Glide in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district that offers meals, shelter, HIV and hepatitis C tests, job training and children’s programmes.
Prior to this year, Buffett, 91, chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, had helped Glide raise more than $34.1 million by auctioning 20 lunches.
The auctions began in 2000. None were held in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic.
Buffett has also pledged to give away nearly all of his fortune.
He was worth $93.4 billion on Friday, ranking seventh worldwide, according to Forbes magazine.
This year’s auction 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; energy, manufacturing and retail businesses, and stocks such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N).
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.