Warren Buffett charity lunch already fetching $1 million at auction
By Jonathan Stempel
(Reuters) - An online auction for the right to dine with billionaire investor Warren Buffett and raise money for a San Francisco charity has started strongly, with the top bid surpassing $1 million in less than a day.
Buffett has raised $17.8 million in 15 prior annual auctions for Glide, a charity in San Francisco's Tenderloin district that provides food, health care, rehabilitation and other services for the poor and homeless.
As of 2:30 p.m. EDT Monday, the top bid was $1,000,100 in the eBay auction, which ends at 10:30 p.m. EDT Friday.
That bid matches the seventh-highest amount ever paid, which occurred in 2013, and may go higher because bids often soar in the last hour. The auction began Sunday night, with a $25,000 minimum bid.
"We're very happy, very happy," the Rev. Cecil Williams, the co-founder of Glide, said in a phone interview. "We expect the bidding to take off, but $1 million coming this early is somewhat surprising."
This year's winner can bring up to seven friends to dine with Buffett at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in Manhattan.
Some past winners chose to dine at a steakhouse in Omaha, Nebraska, where Buffett runs Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Last year's winner, Andy Chua of Singapore, bid $2,166,766. The record bid, in 2012, was $3,456,789, submitted anonymously. Continued...