A Chinese multimillionaire businessman has agreed to pay $2,345,678 for a private lunch with one of the world’s richest men, Warren Buffett. He won the charity auction to have dinner with the billionaire investor. The money will benefit the Glide Foundation (a nonprofit in San Francisco that provides food, health care, rehabilitation and other services to the poor and homeless)
According to Reuters, Glide said the man, Zhu Ye, chairman of Beijing-based Dalian Zeus Entertainment Co, submitted the highest of 76 bids to win the five-day auction on eBay, which concluded on Friday night. His bid was well below the $3,456,789 winning bid in 2012, still a record for an eBay charity auction, but will help Glide meet its $16 million annual budget. The 16 auctions have raised about $20.2 million.
The man can invite up to seven friends to eat with Buffett at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in Manhattan. Buffett, 84, will talk about almost anything, including philanthropy and life, but not what he is buying and selling.
The auctions began in 2000 after Buffett’s first wife Susan introduced him to Glide. She died in 2004.
None of the first three winners paid more than $25,000, but the price soared once the auctions, which had been live only, moved online in 2003.
Buffett is worth $69.2bn ranking fourth worldwide. He is donating nearly all his wealth to charity.
The following are the winning bids in the Glide auctions:
2000: Anonymous, $25,000
2001: Anonymous, $18,000
2002: Anonymous, $25,000
2003: David Einhorn, Greenlight Capital, $250,100
2004: Jason Choo, Singapore, $202,100
2005: Anonymous, $351,100
2006: Yongping Duan, California, $620,100
2007: Mohnish Pabrai, Guy Spier, Harina Kapoor, $650,100
2008: Zhao Danyang, China, $2,110,100
2009: Salida Capital, Canada, $1,680,300
2010: Ted Weschler, $2,626,311
2011: Ted Weschler, $2,626,411
2012: Anonymous, $3,456,789
2013: Anonymous, $1,000,100
2014: Andy Chua, Singapore, $2,166,766
2015: Zhu Ye, Dalian Zeus Entertainment Co, China, $2,345,678