Buffett lunch bid reaches $900,100, one day to go

Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:41pm EDT
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By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The high bid for a steak lunch with Warren Buffett has reached $900,100, with a little over a day to go in the annual charity auction.

Since beginning on Sunday night, the auction on eBay Inc's website had generated 45 bids from eight bidders as of 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT), with the top bid rising from $700,100 a day earlier. Bidding started at $25,000.

The winner and up to seven friends will dine with the world's third-richest person at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in midtown Manhattan.

Bidders' names are being kept confidential by eBay, which concludes the auction on Friday at 10:30 p.m. EDT (0230 GMT Saturday).

Proceeds benefit the Glide Foundation, a San Francisco nonprofit that offers meals, healthcare, child care, housing and job training for the poor and homeless. Smith & Wollensky is also donating $10,000.

Buffett's 10 prior auctions for Glide have raised more than $5.9 million. This included a record $2,110,100 in 2008 from Hong Kong investor Zhao Danyang, and $1,680,300 last year by Toronto wealth manager Salida Capital Corp.

Bids typically soar in the last hour or two of auctions. The top bid last year had reached just $456,789 with fewer than 12 hours remaining.

Buffett, 79, pledged most of his wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and four family charities.   Continued...