A Chinese online gaming will pay more than $2.3 million to have lunch with Warren Buffet. Despite falling short of the record, the amount is higher than what people paid in previous years, proving that Buffet’s charity auction is still popular.
The winner of this year’s auction is Dalian Zeus Entertainment Co., a Beijing based Chinese company specialized in online games development. The company paid approximately $2,345,678 to win the eBay auction, allowing it to send up to eight members to have lunch with the 84-year old investor and philanthropist.
The amount raised is higher than what people paid in the past two years, but it still stands pretty far from the record. In 2012, an anonymous bidder paid almost $3.5 million to have launch with Mr. Buffet. Last year’s winner was Singaporean Andy Chua, who ‘only’ paid $2.16 million.
All the money will go to the Glide foundation, a charity helping the poor and homeless in San Francisco. For the past 15 years, Glide has been enjoying Buffet’s support, whose lunch auction generated a large part of the foundation’s budget. Glide received an estimated $17.9 million so far thanks to the “Power Lunch with Warren Buffett” annual event.
Throughout years, lunch with Warren Buffet changed not only the lives of San Francisco’s poor and homeless, but sometimes also those of the bidders. For instance, after paying about $5.3 million to meet the investor in 2010 and 2011, Ted Weschler got a job as an investment manager for Berkshire. He now has the opportunity to chat with Buffet without having to spend millions of dollars.
Monsoon Pabrai, the daughter of the 2007 auction winner, was only 12 years old at the time she met Buffet, and says the experience had a strong impact on her life. “He said the greatest decision we would make is who to marry,” Ms. Pabrai recalls. “Now every time my sister and I go on dates, that echoes in our heads.”
As for Buffet himself, he sees no reason why he should stop holding the charity auction. “Every year, it’s an interesting experience for me,” he explained. “I’ve made new friends. Hired a person. Had a lot of good steaks, so I can’t complain.”
The annual fundraiser started in 2000, but the price for a lunch with Buffet took a dramatic upturn after the auction was moved to eBay, in 2003. The $3.5 million paid in 2012 is still holding the record for the most expensive charity item ever sold on the online marketplace.
Image Source: Troy Media