Buffett lunch goes for $2.3M at online auction

Buffett lunch goes for $2.3M at online auction

A private lunch with Warren Buffett sold for USD 2.3 million when online bidding ended, falling short of last year's winning bid of  USD 2.6 million that set a record for the most expensive charity item ever sold on eBay.

Organisers didn't immediately release the identity of the winner, whose exact bid was  USD 2,345,678. All proceeds go to the Glide Foundation, which provides social services to the poor and homeless in San Francisco.

Buffett will spend several hours discussing whatever it is the winner would like to talk about, traditionally at New York's Smith and Wollensky steak house. The only topics the billionaire chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway will not broach are potential future investments.

"I've met a lot of nice people through this," Buffett said.

Last year's record-setting auction was won by an anonymous American who placed the USD 2.6 million bid. The most expensive item ever sold on eBay was a jet that drew USD 4.9 million, eBay spokeswoman Amanda Miller said.

In 2009, Canadian investment firm Salida Capital paid USD 1.68 million to dine with Buffett. In 2008, a Chinese investment fund manager paid  USD 2.11 million.

The annual lunch auction is a huge revenue generator at Glide, which operates on a USD 17 million annual budget. The charity estimates that Buffett has raised nearly  USD 9 million over the past 12 years through auctioned lunches.

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