Winning Bid to Have Lunch With Warren Buffett: $2.7 Million

By Nicole Friedman Features Dow Jones Newswires

An anonymous fan bid $2,679,001 in a charity auction to have lunch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett, down from last year's winning bid of $3,456,789.

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Now in its 18th year, the annual auction for lunch with the Berkshire Hathaway Inc. chairman has raised more than $25 million in total for San Francisco charity Glide, a favorite cause of Mr. Buffett's first wife, Susie Buffett. Glide offers free meals, health care and other services to homeless and low-income people in San Francisco.

The winner can invite up to seven friends for lunch with Mr. Buffett at steakhouse Smith & Wollensky in New York. The steakhouse's founder makes an annual donation to Glide.

Last year's lunch also went to an anonymous bidder.

This year's auction opened Sunday on eBay with an opening bid of $25,000.

The winning price has held above $1 million since 2008. The auction moved online in 2003, allowing international fans of Mr. Buffett to participate. Past winners include a Chinese online gaming company and a Singaporean man named Andy Chua.

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Ted Weschler won twice when he was a hedge-fund manager, paying more than $2 million each time. Mr. Weschler was later hired by Mr. Buffett to help run Berkshire's investments. He and Berkshire's other portfolio manager, Todd Combs, are expected to take over all of Berkshire's stock investments after Mr. Buffett steps down.

For the first time this year, donors could also give smaller amounts of money -- as little as $10 -- to Glide to be eligible to win a trip to San Francisco to visit the charity and attend its gala.

Write to Nicole Friedman at nicole.friedman@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 10, 2017 08:25 ET (12:25 GMT)