At this time, there is an online auction going on for the chance to enjoy lunch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett. The auction is also there to help raise money for a charity based out of San Francisco that Warren Buffett is strongly tied with. So far the top bid has already surpassed $1 million, and this has happened in less than a single day.
In total, in Warren Buffett’s prior 15 annual auctions for the charity Glide – based out of the Tenderloin district in San Francisco that provides health care, rehabilitation, food and more services for the poor – he has already raised $17.8 million for the organization.
As of Monday, June 1, 2015 at 2:30 PM, the top bid was for $1,000,100 on the auction taking place on eBay. This auction will end on Friday at 10:30 PM Eastern daylight Time.
The $1,000,100 bid is a match for the seventh highest amount that was ever paid, and this took place in 2013, so it’s quite possible that the bid will rise much higher in value. Typically, during a Buffett lunch and auction, the bids begin flying and soar during the last hour. This auction began on Sunday with a $25,000 minimum bid.
“We’re very happy, very happy,” said Rev. Cecil Williams, one of the cofounders of the Glide foundation, in an interview on the phone. “We expected the bidding to take off, but $1 million coming this early is somewhat surprising.”
The winner this year is allowed to bring as many as seven friends to dine with Warren Buffett at Smith and Wollensky, a Manhattan steakhouse.
Some of the winners in the past chose to dine in Omaha, Nebraska, at a local steakhouse, near Berkshire Hathaway, the company run by Warren Buffett.
Andy Chua of Singapore, last year’s winner, bid $2,166,766 in order to win the auction. The highest bid of all time, anonymously submitted in 2012, was for $3,456,789.
Ted Weschler, a past winner, ended up becoming a portfolio manager and working for Warren Buffett after winning two auctions in 2010 and 2011 for a combined $5.25 million.
This auction began back in 2000 after Warren Buffett’s first wife, Susan Buffett, introduced him to the Glide foundation. She died in 2004.
“Nobody who’s donated to Glide has ever felt short-changed,” said Buffett in a statement last month.
Cecil Williams, Glide Memorial United Methodist Church pastor and community leader, said that he met with Buffett in Omaha two weeks ago in order to discuss the work that Glide does.
“We want to empower our people and find resources to help us pull this off, and touch the lives of people who are hurting most,” said Williams.
He also added that Warren Buffett’s involvement helps. “When Mr. Buffett speaks, people listen,” said Williams. “He is a man of deep conviction.”
Warren Buffett is currently worth an estimated $70.4 billion, and this makes him the fourth richest person in the world, according to Forbes magazine.