Lunch with Warren Buffett goes for a whopping $19 mn ... tip included?

Lunch with Warren Buffett goes for a whopping $19 mn ... tip included?

A mystery bidder will pay $19 million to have lunch with iconic investor Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, seen speaking at a Washington event on October 13, 2015
A mystery bidder will pay $19 million to have lunch with iconic investor Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, seen speaking at a Washington event on October 13, 2015. Photo: MARK WILSON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP/File
Source: AFP

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Talk about an expensive date: a mystery bidder will be spending a record $19 million for the right to have lunch with legendary American investment guru Warren Buffett.

That whopping bid, announced by eBay, came in the 21st -- and last -- such charity luncheon with the aging multibillionaire, who is chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.

Bidding on the eBay website opened last Sunday at a modest $25,000. But it shot up rapidly as rival bidders tried to outdo one another, finally ending Friday at a total of just over $19 million.

The auction -- held annually, though canceled by Covid-19 concerns for the past two years -- raises funds for Glide, which fights poverty in San Francisco. It distributes food to the homeless and helps them find shelter, medical assistance and training.

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San Francisco, a place of income extremes, has struggled for years with a large homeless population.

This year's still-anonymous winner of the charity auction "has not only made history, but will spend an unforgettable afternoon with American legend Warren Buffett at a private lunch with up to seven guests at Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse in New York City," said an announcement posted by eBay.

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The last pre-pandemic auction was won by Justin Sun, an American entrepreneur active in cryptocurrencies, who spent $4.6 million for the right to dine with Buffett, an outspoken critic of bitcoin.

The eBay statement quoted the 91-year-old Buffett -- revered throughout the investment community as the "Oracle of Omaha" -- as saying he had "met a lot of interesting people all over the world" through the auctions.

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"The one universal characteristic," he added, "is that they feel the money is going to be put to very good uses."

Buffett's net worth was estimated in March at $117 billion, according to Forbes.com.

He joined Bill and Malinda Gates in forming a group of the ultra-wealthy who have vowed to give away half their fortunes. Buffett is estimated to have already donated some $48 billion.

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Source: AFP

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