June 5, 2014 / 3:43 PM / 4 years ago

Warren Buffett's charity lunch auction bid tops $1 million and may rise

(Reuters) - Warren Buffett’s annual auction to benefit a San Francisco charity has drawn a bid of more than $1 million, surpassing last year’s top offering, with a day of bidding remaining for a chance to eat lunch with the billionaire investor.

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett throws a newspaper during a competition at a trade show, at the company's annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska May 3, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

The $1,000,300 high bid is for the 15th annual auction to benefit the Glide Foundation, which provides food and services to the poor and homeless.

The high bid often surges in the last hour or two before the auction on eBay closes. The auction ends Friday at 10:30 p.m. EDT (2:30 a.m. Saturday GMT).

Last year’s $1,000,100 winning bid was considered a relative bargain, being lower than the five previous winning bids, including the $3,456,789 top bid in 2012.

This year’s winner and up to seven friends will have a private lunch with Buffett at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in Manhattan.

Buffett has said he will talk about anything other than what he might next invest in.

Auctions began in 2000 after Buffett was introduced to Glide by his first wife Susan, who died in 2004. The auctions have raised nearly $16 million.

Other winners have included hedge fund managers David Einhorn, who paid $250,100 in 2003, and Ted Weschler, who spent $5.25 million to win the 2010 and 2011 auctions.

Weschler was later hired by Buffett, and is now a portfolio manager at Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Jennifer Ablan and Grant McCool

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