By Damilola Faustino
The chance to dine with Warren Buffett costs $3.3 million this year. That was the winning bid for a lunch with the billionaire investor in a week-long charity auction that concluded Friday on EBay Inc.’s website.
This year’s price was short of the $3.46 million record, ranking third in the event’s history. For a third straight year, the auction’s winner asked to remain anonymous, organizers said.
Buffett has participated in the annual auction for almost two decades to benefit Glide, a San Francisco-based charity. The lunch with the business magnate, who is also the fourth richest man in the world, generally brings in more than 10 percent of the organization’s budget and helps fund projects that address hunger, poverty, and homelessness.
This year’s auction will aid the charity, which has seen the demand for its services skyrocket, according to Glide’s President and Chief Executive Officer Karen Hanrahan.
“It was spectacular,” Hanrahan said of the auction in an interview. “This is just an extraordinary gift that Warren gives to Glide.”
The winner of the auction gets to bring seven friends to a lunch with Buffett at Smith & Wollensky in New York.
Bidding for this year’s auction started May 27 and was heating up through the middle of the week with a top bid reaching $2.9 million early on Wednesday. The competition later ticked higher, amassing a total of 136 bids.
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