The winning bid Friday night on auction site eBay for lunch with Warren Buffett this year was about $2.2 million, won by Andy Chua from Singapore. The proceeds will benefit a San Francisco charity.
The bid was more than double last year’s $1 million winner. The record winning bid during the charity auction’s 15 years was in 2012, at about $3.5 million for a steak lunch with one of the world’s richest men and savviest stock-market investors.
The five-day auction attracted 12 bidders who made 121 bids. The minimum bid was $25,000, and bidders were required to be certified as legitimate by the auction company running the contest. Chua's winning bid was $2,166,766.
The auction gets a lot of attention on Wall Street and among money managers and other business leaders.
Chua and seven guests will get to meet Berkshire Hathaway Chief Executive Buffett in Manhattan for lunch at Smith & Wollensky, a 10-restaurant chain of steakhouses with small-batch bourbons and deep-polished wood, where a shrimp cocktail goes for about $20 and the long bone rib-eye close to $70.
In recent years, the event has been held in Omaha at Piccolo’s Restaurant, where the signature appetizer is breaded ravioli at $7.75 and the most expensive steak is the filet mignon at $29.50.
Over the years, the auction has raised about $18 million for the Glide Foundation, a favorite of Buffett’s late wife, Susan Thompson Buffett. The foundation operates a nurse-staffed medical clinic, a shelter and a soup kitchen serving three meals a day.
Bidding started Sunday at $25,000. By Tuesday, the $500,000 mark had been reached. The bidding surpassed $1 million Wednesday. Friday evening, there was a flurry of late bids.
Bloomberg News reported that Chua was the 12th and final hopeful to bid with less than 10 minutes to go in the auction Friday evening.
The Omaha World-Herald Co. is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.