A typical lunch at a high-end Manhattan steakhouse for nine people might run $1,000 or so, but when Warren Buffett is the guest of honor the price can rise to $3.46 million.
That is how much an as-yet unknown bidder paid in the annual online charity auction for the right to lunch with the "Oracle of Omaha" and seven friends at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in Manhattan.
The proceeds were up compared to last year, when fund manager Ted Weschler bid $2.63 million to have lunch with Buffett. The 81-year-old Nebraska billionaire ended up hiring Weschler last September to be an investment manager at Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N).
A total of 10 bidders entered 106 bids over the five-day auction that ended on Friday evening, much stronger than last year when just two people made a total of eight bids. The winning offer was exactly $3,456,789.
The previous 12 auctions raised more than $11.5 million for the San Francisco-based charity GLIDE, which sponsors a variety of programs for the disadvantaged, from meals for the needy and housing to community clinics. Buffett was introduced to GLIDE via his late first wife Susan.
(Reporting by Ben Berkowitz; Editing by Anthony Boadle)