Buffett’s Charity Lunch Auctioned for $2.17 Million

Jun 07, 2014 2:23 am ET

June 6 (Bloomberg) -- Warren Buffett raised $2.17 million for charity with his annual lunch auction, more than double last year’s amount

The winner, the 12th and final hopeful to bid with less than 10 minutes to go, made a s86ingle offer of $2,166,766, according to a page on EBay Inc.’s website. He or she gets to bring as many as seven friends for a meal with the third-richest man in the world.

Buffett, 83, has brought in about $17.8m over the past 15 years for the Glide Foundation, which provides services for the poor through a church in San Francisco’s blighted Tenderloin district.

“That’s a lot of money,” Glide founder Cecil Williams, 84, said about today’s winning bid. “We’re happy, very happy.” Glide has an annual budget of about $17 million.

Buffett’s first wife Susan, who died in 2004, introduced him to Williams and Glide. The chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Buffett has pledged almost all of his estimated $65.9 billion fortune to charity.

“Buffett’s stature keeps growing every year,” Mohnish Pabrai, who was part of 2007’s winning group that bid $650,100, said last month in an interview.“Every year that goes by there’s a diminishing number of lunches left.”

Last year’s winner committed $1,000,100. That compared with top bids of at least $1.6 million from 2008 through 2012.

Buffett met on April 23 with last year’s anonymous winner at New York’s Smith & Wollensky steakhouse. Other previous winners include hedge-fund manager David Einhorn and Ted Weschler, who was hired by Buffett after making two record- setting bids.