Warren Buffett’s annual lunch auction, a fundraiser for San Francisco’s Glide Foundation, raised about $1 million, the lowest amount in six years.
The event drew 106 bids from 8 people as it concluded last night in San Francisco, according to EBay Inc.’s website. The winner, who wasn’t immediately identified, and seven companions get to dine with Buffett at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in New York.
“I was surprised,” said Glide founder Rev. Cecil Williams, who said he had expected the offer to top last year’s record of $3.46 million. “The most important thing is that the $1 million can be used effectively.”
Glide and Williams were introduced to Buffett, 82, the world’s third-richest man, by his first wife, Susan, who was a volunteer for the group. The charity serves meals and provides social services to the poor through a church known for its music-filled Sunday services in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District.
“There’s all kinds of people that need that kind of help, and I don’t think anybody is better at providing it than Glide,” Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said in a statement sent by Glide. Buffett has helped raise more than $15 million for Glide in the past 14 years.
The investor has also promised to donate his fortune to charity and has sought similar commitments from other billionaires under the Giving Pledge campaign.
Buffett draws thousands of people to Omaha, Nebraska, for Berkshire’s annual meetings, fielding questions on finance, public policy and life. His stock picks and company acquisitions built Berkshire into a $284 billion firm that sells insurance, operates retail businesses, runs a railroad and manufactures goods from chemicals to building materials.
Glide Lunch With Warren Buffett Results: Year Winner Winning Bid 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