Lunch with Warren Buffett auctioned for $2.35 million

Sat Jun 6, 2015 11:40am EDT
 
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By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) - The chairman of a Chinese company that develops online games has agreed to pay $2,345,678 for a private lunch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett, winning a charity auction.

This year's auction was the 16th to benefit the Glide Foundation, a nonprofit in San Francisco's Tenderloin district that provides food, health care, rehabilitation and other services to the poor and homeless.

Glide said Zhu Ye, chairman of Beijing-based Dalian Zeus Entertainment Co (002354.SZ: Quote), submitted the highest of 76 bids to win the five-day auction on eBay (EBAY.O: Quote), which concluded on Friday night.

His bid was well below the $3,456,789 winning bid in 2012, still a record for an eBay charity auction, but will help Glide meet its $16 million annual budget. The 16 auctions have raised about $20.2 million.

"What we try to do is work to empower our people, to make sure that people find some way to have hope," the Rev. Cecil Williams, a Glide co-founder, said after the auction ended. "We were overjoyed when the count came in."

The winner can invite up to seven friends to eat with Buffett at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in Manhattan.

Buffett, 84, will talk about almost anything, including philanthropy and life, but not what he is buying and selling.

Some past winners chose to eat with Buffett at a steakhouse in Omaha, Nebraska, where he has run Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N: Quote) for 50 years.   Continued...

 
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett plays bridge during the Berkshire annual meeting weekend in Omaha, Nebraska May 3, 2015.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking