June 10, 2010 / 8:44 PM / 9 years ago

Buffett lunch bid reaches $900,100, one day to go

* Bidding well ahead of last year’s pace

* EBay auction runs until Friday night

* Proceeds to benefit San Francisco charity

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK, June 10 (Reuters) - The high bid for a steak lunch with Warren Buffett has reached $900,100, with a little over a day to go in the annual charity auction.

Since beginning on Sunday night, the auction on eBay Inc’s (EBAY.O) website had generated 45 bids from eight bidders as of 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT), with the top bid rising from $700,100 a day earlier. Bidding started at $25,000.

The winner and up to seven friends will dine with the world’s third-richest person at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in midtown Manhattan.

Bidders’ names are being kept confidential by eBay, which concludes the auction on Friday at 10:30 p.m. EDT (0230 GMT Saturday).

Proceeds benefit the Glide Foundation, a San Francisco nonprofit that offers meals, healthcare, child care, housing and job training for the poor and homeless. Smith & Wollensky is also donating $10,000.

Buffett’s 10 prior auctions for Glide have raised more than $5.9 million. This included a record $2,110,100 in 2008 from Hong Kong investor Zhao Danyang, and $1,680,300 last year by Toronto wealth manager Salida Capital Corp.

Bids typically soar in the last hour or two of auctions. The top bid last year had reached just $456,789 with fewer than 12 hours remaining.

Buffett, 79, pledged most of his wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and four family charities.

He runs Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) (BRKb.N), and according to Forbes magazine has a $47 billion fortune.

Buffett began donating lunches in 2000 after his wife Susan introduced him to the Rev. Cecil Williams, who founded Glide and has led it for more than 45 years. The first three auctions were live, and bidding soared once they moved online.

Susan Buffett died in 2004, and Warren Buffett remarried two years later. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel. Editing by Gary Hill and Robert MacMillan)

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