An anonymous bidder has coughed up nearly $3.5 million for a private lunch with one of the world’s richest men, Warren Buffett. That equates to a whopping N525 million at an exchange rate of N150 to a dollar.
This jaw dropping and record breaking bid came at an annual auction held on Friday to dine with American billionaire, Buffett.
The auction benefits the Glide Foundation, which helps the homeless in San Francisco, US.
According to the organization, 10 people actively participated in the bid, with the eventual winner’s bid standing at $3,456,789. The winner wished to remain anonymous.
“We just had a most amazing, shocking experience occur in our great city,” Glide Foundation founder, Rev. Cecil Williams, said in a statement Friday night. “We are shouting, dancing, rejoicing and celebrating.”
Warren Buffett, 81, has raised more than $11.5 million for the group in 13 past auctions. The event provides a significant portion of Glide’s roughly $17 million annual budget that pays for social services to the poor and homeless.
The previous four winning bids have all exceeded $2 million with records set every year. Last year’s winner, hedge fund manager Ted Weschler, paid $2,626,411.
Past winners of the auction have said they believe the time with Buffett was well worth the price they paid in the auction. The lunches often continue for several hours as Buffett answers their questions.
Buffett says many of the questions he gets at the private launch are not business related but more about family and philanthropy.
The American investment genius became one of the world’s richest men while building Berkshire Hathaway into a conglomerate.
As in past auctions, the bids didn’t reach astronomical levels until close to the end. Within the final hour of the auction’s 9:30 p.m. CDT closing, bids jumped from $1 million to the final $3.46 million.
Buffett has supported the Glide Foundation, San Francisco , ever since his late first wife, Susan, introduced him to Williams. Buffett says Williams is a key reason why Glide has been able to help so many people after the world had given up on them.
“He’s changed thousands of lives that would not have been changed otherwise,” Buffett said before the bidding closed.
Warren Edward Buffett (born August 30, 1930) is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is widely considered the most successful investor of the 20th century. He is the primary shareholder, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.
He is consistently ranked among the world’s wealthiest people. He was ranked as the world’s wealthiest person in 2008and is the third wealthiest person in the world as of 2011.
In 2012, American magazine Time named Buffett one of the most influential people in the world.