$2.63 million steak lunch with Warren Buffett

James Ryan Jonas

How much would you need to be able to have lunch with one of the world’s richest persons? About two million dollars, apparently.

The annual eBay charity lunch-auction of Warren Buffet ended last Friday, June 11, with a record bid of $2.63 million. Every year, Buffet takes part in an eBay auction where the highest bidder, together with 7 of his friends, gets to have steak lunch with the Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.

The lunch is at Smith & Wollensky, a steakhouse on Third Avenue in Manhattan, New York.

Proceeds from the bidding benefit the Glide Foundation, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization offering meals, healthcare, child care, housing and job training for the poor and homeless.

This year’s record bid of $2.63 million bested the 2008 offer of Zhao Danyang, a Hong Kong investor who paid $2.11 million to have lunch with Buffett. In 2009, Toronta, Canada-based wealth manager Salida Capital Corporation won with a $1.68 million bid.

In the past 10 auctions, Buffett had raised more than $5.9 million for the Glide Foundation. Buffett started auctioning the lunches in 2000 after his first wife Susan, who died in 2004, introduced him to the foundation.

Expensive as it may seem, the lunch is a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sit down and chat with one of the world’s most interesting personalities in the finance and investments field.

If ever I have the money, I’d bid too for that lunch. I just hope that that lunch with Buffet is buffet steak lunch, so that at least I can get some of my money back. LOL.

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James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.