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Here's Who Paid $4.5M for a Lunch With Warren Buffett

That's a record as the 'Oracle of Omaha' continues to raise money for GLIDE
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2019 9:50 AM CDT
Updated Jun 3, 2019 1:43 PM CDT
Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, is seen after the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb., on May 5, 2019.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

(Newser) – This is the 20th year Warren Buffett has auctioned off a "power lunch" with himself, and the winning bid set a record at more than $4.5 million. The billionaire investor started doing the auctions at a live charity event for GLIDE, a foundation that helps the homeless in San Francisco. Back when the auctions were held in person, one could snag a lunch with Buffett for less than $20,000, which is what it went for in 2001. But in 2008, Buffett started holding the auctions on eBay, where anyone who's prequalified by the auction company as being able to afford it can bid; that year, the price jumped to more than $2 million. Before this year, the record was $3,456,789. A cryptocurrency pioneer just crushed that.

Tron founder and BitTorrent CEO Justin Sun had the winning bid of the 18 submitted by five bidders. For his $4,567,888, he and up to seven friends will get to lunch with Buffett at New York City's Smith & Wollensky steakhouse, which, as Quartz notes, is somewhat funny considering the 88-year-old is known for "simple tastes" that include enjoying McDonald's. As far as tastes go, Bloomberg points out Buffett isn't a fan of cryptocurrencies, having called Bitcoin "probably rat poison squared." Sun tweeted that he plans to have blockchain industry leaders join him at the lunch. "Will be a great opportunity for mutual understanding and knowledge transfer," he wrote. Buffett has raised more than $34 million for GLIDE through his auctioned lunches, per Reuters. GLIDE President and CEO Karen Hanrahan told the San Francisco Business Times that this year's bid will feed tens of thousands. (Read more Warren Buffett stories.)

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