An anonymous bidder pledged $2.68 million to a charity in exchange for lunch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett.
It was the highest among 41 bids in a five-day auction on eBay's website that concluded Friday. Last year's winning bid for lunch with Buffett was $3.46 million, which tied the previous year's high.
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The winner, who posted the bid in the closing seconds, gets to bring seven friends to dine with the 86-year-old billionaire at New York's Smith & Wollensky steakhouse, Bloomberg reported. Proceeds benefit Glide, a San Francisco charity that serves meals to the homeless, hosts support groups through its women's center for abuse victims and provides treatment for drug addiction.
"We believe in building bridges, not walls," Glide's co-founder Janice Mirikitani said in a statement before the auction began. "Warren Buffett and the generous bidders enable us to provide a holistic array of high quality services that meet critical needs, improve lives and elevate the human spirit."
Buffett's first wife, Susan, volunteered for the organization and died in 2004. Buffett's auction efforts have brought in more than $26 million for the group since 2000.
Much smaller donations were accepted for Glide on eBay. Ten dollars provides a fried-chicken lunch for two and $80 pays for a 40-minute legal consultation. Anyone who donated through last Friday will be entered to win a trip to San Francisco to meet Mirikitani and her Glide co-founder Rev. Cecil Williams.
"Everyone that has experienced Glide comes away a believer," Buffett said in a statement last month. "They have to see it to believe it, but when they see it, they do believe it."
The steakhouse that hosts the lunch donates at least $10,000 each year, San Francisco Patch reports.
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Last year's winner also chose to remain anonymous. Winners have included hedge fund manager David Einhorn and Ted Weschler, who later joined Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. to help oversee investments.
Buffett is the chairman, chief executive officer and biggest shareholder of Berkshire, which owns more than 60 companies, including Geico, Duracell and Dairy Queen.
He is worth $76.2 billion, according to Forbes.
By Allen Cone
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