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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Lunch with Warren Buffett auction attracts highest bid of $3.3m 

This year’s price was short of the $3.46m record, ranking third in the event’s history.

Warren Buffet lunch auction attracts $3.3m in winning bid. This year’s price was short of the $3.46m record. AP Photo
Warren Buffet lunch auction attracts $3.3m in winning bid. This year’s price was short of the $3.46m record. AP Photo

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. This year’s price was short of the $3.46m record, ranking third in the event’s history. The winner wasn’t immediately identified by organisers.

Buffett, 87, has participated in the annual auction for almost two decades to benefit Glide, a San Francisco-based charity. The lunch with the investing guru generally brings in more than 10 per cent of the organisation’s budget and helps fund projects that address hunger, poverty and homelessness.

“We are grateful to Warren Buffett and EBay for enabling us to reach thousands with our programs and support,” Glide co-founder Cecil Williams said in an earlier statement.

The winner of the auction gets to bring seven friends to a lunch with Buffett at Smith & Wollensky in New York. In the past, top bidders have included hedge fund manager David Einhorn. Ted Weschler submitted the highest offer in both 2010 and the following year. He then scored a job with Buffett in 2011 and now helps oversee Berkshire Hathaway investments.

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Buffett’s known to draw a crowd for his advice on investing, and he fills an indoor convention center with thousands of people during his company’s annual meeting. As Berkshire’s chief executive officer and chairman, he’s built the company into a sprawling $475 billion corporation that touches areas from the railroad industry to insurance.

Bidding for this year’s auction started May 27 and was heating up through the middle of the week with a top bid reaching $2.9m early on Wednesday. The competition later ticked higher, amassing a total of 136 bids.“Glide really takes people who have hit rock bottom and helps bring them back,” Buffett said in an earlier statement. “They’ve been doing it for decades. If I can help out by raising some money for them, then I enjoy doing it.”

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