A lunch with Warren Buffett will soon go to one lucky — and wealthy — bidder.
The 17th annual auction for face time with the Oracle of Omaha wraps up Friday night, with a multimillion-dollar winning bid expected. Since 2000, the event has attracted more than $20 million for Glide, a San Francisco nonprofit that benefits the homeless.
Over the years, the price of a meal with the Berkshire Hathaway chief executive has appreciated greatly, rising by a factor of nearly 100 between 2000 and 2015. Last year, Zhu Ye of China’s Dalian Zeus Entertainment Co. paid $2,345,678 for the privilege of dining with Buffett.
Previous winners have included well-known investors like David Einhorn of the hedge fund Greenlight Capital, as well as several anonymous donors. One donor, Ted Weschler, eventually parlayed his two lunches for a job at Berkshire. It cost him a combined $5.25 million.
The priciest lunch came in 2012, with an anonymous bidder forking over $3.45 million for the opportunity.
The lunches ordinarily take place at Smith & Wollensky steak house in New York City, which also chips in $10,000 for the homeless charity. Conversation topics range widely over several hours, according to Buffett, though discussions of his future investment decisions remain off-limits.
The lunch is hardly the only of Buffett’s philanthropic pursuits. The investor, worth nearly $67 billion according to Forbes, has pledged to donate 99 percent of his wealth to philanthropy by the time he dies.
Glide is a 40-year-old charity that works in a broad array of fields, from feeding the homeless to providing anti-violence education.